On October 12, Baku Court of Appeal chaired by Judge Hasan Ahmadov examined NIDA activist Giyas Ibrahimov’s appeal regarding the illegal search and seizure conducted on him and in his apartment. The court denied the appeal. The appeal had been filed by youth activist’s lawyer Elchin Sadigov against Nizami District Court’s decision of 27 September 2016 which rejected Giyas Ibrahimov’s complaint of the same content.
Lawyer Elchin Sadigov said the court’s decision was baseless and they would apply to the European Court of Human Rights in this connection.
The lawyer added that Giyas Ibrahimov himself also attended the hearing and he did not have any problems.
Background: Members of opposition civic movement NIDA and final-year students of Azerbaijan Slavic University, Giyas Ibrahimov and Bayram Mammadov were arrested on drug charges on 10 May 2016. They were involved in writing graffiti on a statue of former President Heydar Aliyev. Both youths have claimed that they have been arrested for exercising their right to freedom of expression.
The two youths went missing since the evening hours on 10 May 2016. It was only on 12 May 2016 that the Ministry of Internal Affairs released information on the youths’ arrest.
According to the statement of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, as a result of search carried out by the officers of the Drug Enforcement Department of Baku City Main Police Office, Police Office #22 of Nasimi District Police Department and Police Office #25 of Nizami District Police Department, 2.607 grams of heroin was found and seized on Giyas Ibrahimov on, and additional 1 kilogram and 10 grams of heroin were found and seized during the search of his apartment. As a result of another search conducted by the officers of the Drug Enforcement Department of Baku City Main Police Office and Police Office #12 of Sabunchu District Police Department, 2.904 grams of heroin were found and seized on Bayram Mammadov, and additional 1 kilogram and 150 grams of heroin were found and seized during the search of his house.
Both activists were charged with drug possession upon arrest. On 12 May 2016, Baku Court sentenced Bayram Mammadov and Giyas Ibrahimov to a 4-month pre-trial detention. Their detention terms were further extended in September. The youth activists have reported being subjected to torture whilst in detention.