Court Refuses to Release Journalist under House Arrest


Nasimi District Court chaired by Judge Shalala Hasanova examined the motion to replace the pre-trial detention of Azadliq newspaper’s distribution director Faig Amirli with house arrest. The motion was dismissed. Faig Amirli was present at the hearing which was closed to the public.

Speaking to journalists about the hearing, lawyer Agil Layijov said Nasimi District Court’s decision was unfounded and would be appealed.

In court, the lawyer raised the issue of his client being prohibited from meeting with his family members at Baku Detention Facility. “The investigator says no restriction has been imposed by the prosecutor’s office on his meetings with his relatives. On October 11, the detention facility management received Faig Amirli and told him that there was no ban on his meetings with his relatives. They told him that his family members could visit him the next day. But today, for no reason the meeting was not allowed. If the prosecutor’s office has not applied any restriction, it means that the Ministry of Justice is creating bureaucratic obstacles,” the lawyer said.

The lawyer added that no investigative action had been carried out with regard to Faig Amirli since he was placed in pre-trial detention.

Background: Faig Amirli was arrested on 20 August 2016. Employees of the investigating authority searched his car and house, and allegedly found and seized Fetullah Gulen books from his car. According to his lawyer, wedding video cassettes were also seized during the search. Amirli is charged under Articles 283.1 (Actions aimed at the incitement of national, racial, social or religious hatred and enmity, humiliation of national dignity, as well as actions aimed at restricting the rights of citizens or establishment of the superiority of citizens on grounds of their nationality, race, social status or religion, if these acts are committed publicly or through the media) and 168.1 (Creating, managing or being part of a group, which – under the pretext of disseminating religious faiths and performing religious rites – carries out an activity that disrupts public order or harms the health of citizens or violates the rights of citizens irrespective of its form of infringement, as well as distracts citizens from performance of their duties established by law) of the Criminal Code. Nasimi District Court has ordered 3-month pre-trial detention of Faig Amirli.

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