Court extends term of arrest of Hafiz Babaly until September 20

On July 9, the Khatai district court of Baku satisfied the investigation’s submission to extend the term of arrest of investigative journalist Hafiz Babaly, involved “in the case of “Abzas Media” for another 2 months and 7 days – until September 20, his lawyer Rasul Jafarov told Turan.

During the meeting, the defense pointed out the unreasonableness of Babaly’s detention and filed a counter petition to change the preventive measure to house arrest. The journalist himself denied the accusations of smuggling, linking his case with journalism and drew the court’s attention to health problems. On the other hand, Babaly is a visually impaired person of the third group. Besides, he suffers from varicose veins of the lower extremities. However, the court did not satisfy the defense’s request and extended the period of the journalist’s arrest.

As Jafarov noted, the defense will appeal the court’s decision today. * In November 2023 – January 2024, six journalists and media workers associated with “Abzas Media” were arrested on charges of “smuggling foreign currency by prior agreement”. In April, Imran Aliyev, head of the website, and Anar Mammadli, head of the Center for Election Monitoring and Democracy Education, were also arrested in the case meclis.info.

Subsequently, their cases were separated into separate proceedings. On June 1, economist Farida Mehralizade was also arrested in the case of “Abzas Media”. Those arrested plead not guilty. Human rights activists recognized them as political prisoners. International organizations have called for the release of those arrested.
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