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Baku Court of Appeal heard the appellate complaint requesting annulment of Khatai District Court’s decision of May 12, 2016 ordering pretrial detention of NIDA members Giyas Ibrahimov and Bayram Mammadov, the youth activists’ defense counsel Elchin Sadigov told the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS).
Youth activist Giyas Ibrahimov wrote “Happy Slave Holiday” and “fuck the system” on the late Azerbaijani president Heydar Aliyev’s statue facing the Central Bank near the 28-May metro station, and Bayram Mammadov took a photo of the slogans on the statue.
The photo of the slogans was shared on NIDA civic movement’s Facebook page late on May 9. The two youth went missing since the evening hours on May 10. It was only on May 12, 2016 that the Ministry of Internal Affairs published information on the youths’ arrest. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, as a result of operational search actions 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 on Giyas Ibrahimov on the territory of Nasimi district and seized, and additional 1 kilogram and 10 grams of heroin was found and seized during the search of his apartment. As a result of other operational search actions carried out 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 was found on Sabunchu settlement resident Bayram Mammadov and seized, and additional 1 kilogram and 150 grams of heroin was found and seized during the search of his house.
Both activists are charged under Articles 234.4.1 (illegal manufacturing, purchase, storage, transportation, transfer or selling of narcotics, psychotropic substances or their precursors – on preliminary arrangement by a group of persons or by an organized group) and 234.4.3 (- in a large amount) of the Criminal Code.
Bayram Mammadov and Giyas Ibrahimov were ordered detained for 4 months by Khatai District Court’s decision of May 12, 2016.
According to the lawyer, both court hearings were held behind closed doors, and Giyas Ibrahimov’s appeal was heard and rejected first at the hearing presided over by judge Faig Gasimov of the Court of Appeal.
In the lawyer’s words, after that Bayram Mammadov’s appeal was heard under the chairmanship of judge Gadim Babayev, who dismissed the appeal and kept Bayram Mammadov on remand.
As the lawyer put it, at the hearings both activists spoke about the torture inflicted on them. They told the court that they had been subjected to torture at Baku City Main Police Office and the temporary detention place of Narimanov District Police Department. At the hearing, Bayram Mammadov showed a festering wound on his left wrist, which was visible to the naked eye. The judges asked them and the prosecutor whether the torture claims had been investigated. The defendants and the prosecutor said such an investigation had not been conducted.
“I filed two motions at the hearing. In my first motion, I requested that unless the measure of pretrial detention was changed in respect of the youths, their education right should be reinstated and they should be sent to Baku Slavic University on the days of examination. However, the court denied my motion. My second motion concerned obtaining camera recordings from the places where the youths had been tortured. The court did not grant this motion either,” Elchin Sadigov said.