Faig Amirli’s Detention Term Extended

On 6 January, Nasimi District Court considered a petition by the prosecutor’s office concerning the extension of the pre-trial detention period of the Assistant to APFP Chairman and distribution director of Azadliq newspaper Faig Amirli, and of the term of investigation of his case, as reported by Amirli’s lawyer Agil Layijov.

According to the lawyer, the term of pre-trial detention and investigation of Faig Amirli was extended for two months at a closed court hearing.

Background: Faig Amirli was arrested on 20 August 2016. On 22 August, Nasimi District Court ordered his pre-trial detention for three months. On 11 November, the court prolonged the detention period for two months.

Amirli is charged under Articles 283-2 (Instigation of ethnic, racial and religious hostility) and 168.1 (violating public order or harming the health of citizens under the pretext of disseminating religious faiths and performing religious rites) of the Criminal Code. The indictment has portrayed him as an imam affiliated with Fetullah Gulen, a Muslim cleric who authorities accused of sponsoring the failed coup attempt in Turkey on 15 July 2016.

Rufat Safarov and Tofig Hasanli Transferred to Prison

On 6 January, jailed former investigator Rufat Safarov and jailed satirical poet Tofig Hasanli were transferred to prison.

According to Safarov’s lawyer Bahruz Bayramov, his client has been transferred from Baku Detention Centre to Prison #9 of the Penitentiary Service.

Note that a particularly dangerous recidivist with a 25-year prison record had recently been placed in Safarov’s cell in the detention facility, which gave rise to concerns about his life. Rufat Safarov’s lawyer, his father and his defence committee had appealed to the leadership of the Penitentiary Service for his replacement.

Lawyer Elchin Sadigov in turn said that his client, satirical poet Tofig Hasanli was transferred to Prison #6 on 6 January. “We talked today. He sent greetings to everyone and, albeit belatedly, wished a happy holiday to friends who support and value the freedom of speech,” the lawyer noted.

Background: Rufat Safarov resigned from the post of investigator of Zardab Regional Prosecutor’s Office in protest against the ‘lawlessness in the country’ on 20 December 2015. After his resignation, a criminal case was launched against him under Article 311.3.2 (repeated bribery) of the Criminal Code. On 8 September 2016, Lankaran Grave Crimes Court sentenced Rufat Safarov to 9 years in jail.

Satirical poet Tofig Hasanli in turn was found guilty under Article 234.4.3 (illegal production, purchase, storage, transportation, transfer or selling of narcotic drugs, in a large quantity) of the Criminal Code, and Lankaran Grave Crimes Court sentenced him to 6 years in prison on 22 August 2016. The satirical poet is renowned for his criticism of the authorities and state officials.

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