Jail Terms of Ganimat Zahid’s Relatives Reduced by One Year

March 14th, 2017

On 14 March, Sumgayit Court of Appeal held a hearing on the appeal brought by Rufat and Rovshan Zahidov, relatives of the exiled editor-in-chief of Azadliq newspaper and the founder of Turan TV, Ganimat Zahid.

By the court’s decision, Baku Grave Crimes Court’s judgment was revised and the 6-year jail sentences of Rufat and Rovshan Zahidov were reduced by one year.

Background: Rufat and Rovshan Zahidov were arrested in July 2015. They were charged under Articles 234.4.1 (storage, distribution or selling of drugs, by a group of people) and 234.4.3 (- in a large amount) of the Criminal Code.

On 28 June 2016, Rufat and Rovshan Zahidov were each sentenced to 6 years in jail under the judgment of Baku Grave Crimes Court.

Ganimat Zahid believes that his relatives’ imprisonment is an act of retaliation against him. In particular, he has associated this incident with his strong criticism of the government on his Azerbaijani Hour TV program broadcast via satellite.

In the course of their appeal proceedings, Rufat and Rovshan Zahidov publicly severed their ties of kinship with Ganimat Zahid.

Rufat and Rovshan Zahidov are respectively a nephew and a cousin of Ganimat Zahid.