INSTITUTE FOR REPORTERS’ FREEDOM AND SAFETY STATEMENT

August 3rd, 2009

The Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety strongly condemns the arrest of “Hadaf” Youth Coalition Head Agasif Shakiroglu (Ibrahimoglu).

Today, 3 August, at about 6 a.m., Agasif Shakiroglu was detained in his apartment by the Narimanov District Police Department Police Unit 18 and was sentenced to a month of pre-trial detention under article 321.1 of the Criminal Code (evasion from military call to avoid military service without evidence).   However, A.Shakiroglu stated that his arrest is connected to his critical opinions published on www.mia.az site recently, and he never tried to avoid military service. Shakiroglu was told by the Narimanov District commissariat that he should wait until he receives an invitation to the military service. Despite this a verdict was issued in the Narimanov District Court to sentence him to one month pre-trial detention.
IRFS calls on Azerbaijan’s government to end persecution against people for expressing freedom of speech and to immediately release A.Shakiroglu.