July 26th, 2011
Today, July 26th, Sumgayit Appeals Court heard the appeal filed against Sumgayit City Court 4 May 2011 judgment which sentenced youth activist Jabbar Savalanli to 2.5 years in prison. The judge Latifa Mammadova presided over the hearing. The court did not fulfill the appeal.

The court hearing should have started with the interrogation of Rahim Shikhaliyev as a witness. However, he did not come to the hearing. Lawyer submitted the document to judge on Rahim Shikhaliyev which proved that he has been in the Sumgayit Narcology Hospital since 2000.

Jabbar Savalanli made his final speech in the hearing: “Fight is my lifestyle. Azerbaijan is like a prison. Now in prison I am free” said youth activist.   
Lawyer Anar Gasimov said that judgment issued by  Sumgayit District Court is unfair.

“This judgment proved that the court doesn’t even respect itself” said the lawyer.

Furthermore, lawyer Anar Gasimov did not agree with the judgment. He said that they will appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

After the hearing, Chairman of Azerbaijan Popular Front Party Youth Committee  Abulfaz Gurbanli and youth activist Kamran Sanaturk who protested against Jabbar Savalanli’s arrest  were detained by the police. They were set free an hour later.

Azerbaijan Popular Front Party member Jabbar Savalanli was arrested on February 5, 2011.  He is being charged with drug possession, but it is widely thought that his arrest was politically motivated, linked to criticism of the government he posted on social networking sites. Sumgayit City Court sentenced Savalanli to 2.5 years in jail on May 4, 2011.