Faig Amirli, Azadliq newspaper’s financial director and assistant of opposition Azerbaijan Popular Front Party (APFP) chairman, has been detained near his home by plainclothesmen of law enforcement agencies and taken to the Serious Crimes Investigation Department of the Prosecutor General’s Office. Faig Amirli is interrogated within the criminal case code-named “Preventing illegal activities of Fetullah Gulen supporters in Azerbaijan.” Employees of the Investigation Department have searched his car and house. During the search of his car, they allegedly found and seized Fetullah Gulen books. Upon detention, Faig Amirli’s car keys were taken away from him and kept by the investigation department employees for one hour.
Azadliq newspaper has stated that Faig Amirli’s arrest is a sign of the government’s far-reaching plans.
“A few days ago, a government source leaked to our editorial office that they want to close down Azadliq newspaper. Faig Amirli’s arrest might serve to pave the way for carrying out this intention. Secondly, it is well know that Faig Amirli is an APFP member and assistant of the Party’s chairman Ali Karimli. It is also well known that the authorities have stepped up its repression against APFP and their direct target is the Party’s chairman Ali Karimli. For the past several days, the government’s propagandistic mouthpieces and even Russian TV channels have accused Ali Karimli of having ties to Fetullah Gulen with nonsensical claims. In the recent days, several APFP activists have been arrested on various pretexts. Among them, Fuad Ahmadli, who has been ordered detained, has been officially presented as Gulenist. The Party has stated that this false accusation is part of the smear campaign against APFP. In this context, Faig Amirli’s arrest may be viewed as targeting APFP chairman Ali Karimli himself. Faig Amirli’s arrest is illegal and groundless in every respect, and has been devised in order to open the way for more arrest and to continue the repression. Azadliq newspaper demands immediate release of Faig Amirli, who has been arrested without any legitimate ground,” the newspaper’s statement reads.