Today, lawyer Elchin Sadigov held a press conference at IRFS Press Center to discuss pressure against him.
He reported that the Bar of Lawyers has begun disciplinary proceedings against him, a measure he regards as part of the restrictions on his activity as an independent counsel.
The grounds for the disciplinary proceedings are a complaint by citizen Bayram Aliyev residing at 10 Mirzaga Aliyev Street.
"I do not know this man and I do not have any information about him. In his complaint, he wrote that I received a lot of money from foreign ambassadors and opposition deputies to have the journalist Eynulla Fatullayev elected in the upcoming presidential elections, and to lead the Bar myself. Based on this complaint, the Bar began its consideration of my case,” Elchin Sadigov said.
The Bar requested documents on Sadigov’s activities, a move which violates the law "On Advocacy" which protects the confidentiality of information within an attorney-client relationship. “With regard to this, I appealed to the president, the head of the presdential administration and the head of its department on law-enforcement affairs,” he said.
Lawyer Elchin Sadigov has often defended journalists during court proceedings. On April 4, 2008, when he was defending Azadlig newspaper correspondent Agil Khalil, he was held at the National Security Ministry for 19 hours and 40 minutes. On April 1, 2010, he was called to the ministry regarding the case of Eynulla Fatullayev. “ I have repeatedly received warnings for my work defending journalists’ rights,” said the lawyer.
To note, it is only the lawyers registered as members with the Azerbaijani Bar of Lawyers that are eligible to act as defenders in criminal cases. There is no second institution eligible to give permision for legal work at this level. The Bar of Lawyers has expelled lawyers based on various complaints, likely due to their work defending journalists and opposition activists, including Elchin Namazov, Khalid Bagirov, Arzu Aliyeva, Hazi Mammadov, Akif Mammadov, Namizad Safarov, Latifa Aliyev and others.
The measures taken by the Bar of Lawyers against lawyers working in Azerbaijan has been recently criticized by international bodies, as well as several democratic states.