On 8 February, Nasimi District Court and Judge Elman Isayev considered the petition to release the assistant chairman of APFP, Faig Amirli to house arrest. Amirli is also Azadliq newspaper’s distribution director
Members of the public and media workers were denied access not only to the court building but even to the courts “courtyard”.
Faig Amirli and his lawyer Agil Layijov attended the closed hearing.
The court denied the petition.
Providing information about the hearing, Agil Layijov said he had substantiated the request with Amirli’s state of health. “Faig himself was brought to the trial. He is not in good health and has not eaten anything since morning. He carries a bag in his pocket because he has continually “gotten sick” and anticipates further issues. His poor health is why we requested that the pre-trial detention be changed. Faig Amirli brought his health problems to the court’s notice and said that the primary cause of his stomach problem was the poor quality of food served in prison, the lack of opportunities to heat up liquid food, and the fact that treatment did not produce the desired effect in prison. Therefore, he also personally asked for the substitution of the pre-trial detention,” the lawyer noted.
The attorney also commented on the dismissal of the petition. “We filed the petition, but as usual it was not granted. There were grounds to replace the pre-trial detention measure with house arrest. The investigator of the prosecutor’s office says, without giving any reason, that the petition should not be granted and the judge is satisfied with that. I think, from now on we need to appeal to the prosecutor’s office for the substitution of the pre-trial detention measure because they apparently decide such things,” Layijov said.
The lawyer added that no investigative actions were carried out and they planned to appeal the court decision.
Layijov further noted that the complaint against Faig Amirli’s arrest had been accepted by the European Court of Human Rights. “Not only has it been accepted, but it is already in the phase of communication. The government has been given time until 4 April for amicable resolution of the issue. Otherwise, the government must present a reasonable argument to justify the arrest,” the lawyer said.
Faig Amirli’s wife Lala Amirli also spoke about her husband’s health. “Faig is not provided necessary treatment in the detention centre. He cannot eat food for days. They have performed an ultrasound on him and told him that his gallbladder was thickening. That’s all. No medications whatsoever,” Lala Amirli said.
Background: Faig Amirli was arrested on 20 August 2016. On 22 August, Nasimi District Court ordered his pre-trial detention for three months. On 11 November, the court prolonged the detention period for two months.
Amirli is charged under Articles 283-2 (instigation of ethnic, racial and religious hostility) and 168.1 (violating public order or harming the health of citizens under the pretext of disseminating religious faiths and performing religious rites) of the Criminal Code. The indictment has portrayed him as an imam affiliated to Fetullah Gulen, a Muslim cleric who is accused of sponsoring the failed coup attempt in Turkey on 15 July 2016.