Blogger Rashad Ramazanov claims of torture at police

The Baku Court of Appeal today heard a complaint by blogger Rashad Ramazanov, accused of large-scale drug trafficking.

During the process Ramazanov rejected charges against him as saying that he was prosecuted for critical publications in social networks, his lawyer Elchin Sadygov told Turan.

The blogger also stated that he was tortured at the 14th police department after he was detained, demanding a confession. The drugs were planted on him by this very department.

“Indeed, there are signs of severe torture on both legs of Rashad Ramazanov. These are open, bleeding wounds, as well as closed bruises,” said the lawyer.

However, the court rejected the complaint against the arrest. The defense will continue legal means to change the preventive measure. Besides, a complaint of torture will be filed.

In turn, the head of the department of media and public relations of the press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Elshad Hajiyev denied allegations of torture against Ramazanov. “These allegations are expected and pursue the purpose of self-defense,” Hajiyev told Turan. According to him, Ramazanov has the right to complain “to the appropriate address.”

* Rashad Ramazanov was detained on May 20. The next day, the court arrested him for 4 months. He was charged under Article 234.4.3 (drug trafficking on a large scale) of the Criminal Code, under which he faces from 5 to 12 years of imprisonment.

Earlier, Rashad Ramazanov was arrested in May 2013 and sentenced to 9 years of imprisonment on charges of drug trafficking on a large scale. Local human rights organizations stated that the real reason for his arrest was his criticism of the authorities on social media, so they recognized Ramazanov as a political prisoner.

He was released early by Presidential pardon in March 2019.

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