AZERBAIJANI GOVERNMENT MUST RESPOND TO ECHR QUESTIONS

May 4th, 2011
The European Court of Human Rights sent questions to the Azerbaijani government regarding the appeal filed by journalist and satirist Mirza Sakit (Zahidov) who was in prison between 2006 and 2009, Sakit reported to IRFS today.

According to Sakit, his lawyer Intigam Aliyev appealed to the European Court of Human Rights regarding his arrest during 2006-2009. The journalist added that the Azerbaijan government should respond to the questions by 5 May, 2011.
The European Court of Human Rights has asked the following questions of the Azerbaijan government:
Was there a fair court investigation on the charge against the applicant in accordance with Article 6 of European Convention?  Was the applicant provided a with lawyer during his arrest? If he was provided with a lawyer, was the lawyer there when the search was conducted?  Was the search conducted in accordance with local legislation?
Drugs were found on him when search was conducted in the Police Department. So if he was in the police department, what was the reason for his arrest and detention as a suspect?
Was a medical examination conducted to determine whether he was a drug user? If it was held, in which form was it?
Video footage that showed the search was not considered during the hearing. Did it violate the principle of equality of the parties?
Did the court request the copies of all documents on the criminal case launched against applicant by the government? (Shorthand record, expert opinion, protocol of search, and other documents)
Mirza Sakit was accused of possession of narcotics on 23 June, 2006. He was sentenced to three years imprisonment. He was released under a pardon decree of President in March, 2009.