Nizami District Court has sentenced the Tolishi-Sado newspaper editor-in-chief Hilal Mammadov to 3 months of pre-trial detention under drugs charges.
His lawyer Anar Gasimli spoke to Objective TV today, reporting that Mammadov had been detained on June 21st by officers from the Nasimi District Police Department, and a criminal case was opened against him under Article 234.4.3 (illegal manufacture, purchase, storage, transfer, transport or sale of drugs in a large quantity), on the grounds that he was found to be in possession of 33.074 grams of heroin. Police searched his apartment and allegedly found drugs in a shirt pocket.
Hilal Mammadov told the investigation team that he is not a drug user and that he believes his arrest is connected with his human rights work and political activities.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs has commented on Mammadov’s arrest; Ehsan Zahidov, deputy head of the press service of the interior ministry, stated that Mammadov’s arrest is unconnected to his professional activity as human rights defender and journalist, and solely in relation to his criminal behavior.
NB. The previous editor-in-chief of Tolishi-Sado newspaper, Novruzali Mammadov, was arrested and sentenced to 10 years in jail for high treason in 2007. In August 2009 he died in the prison of the Penitentiary Service.