Jailed for Writing Graffiti on the Statue of President’s Father, Youth Activists See Their Complaint Rejected

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A court in Baku has rejected the appeal filed by the lawyer of jailed youth activists Bayram Mammadov and Giyas Ibrahimov. The complaint related to the violation of their right to defence when detained by the police, reported the activists’ lawyer, Elchin Sadigov.

“Their detention report also shows that they did not have defence counsel (lawyers) at the time of detention, and there are no signatures on the detention report,” the lawyer said.

Khatai District Court did not grant the youth activists’ complaint.

Elchin Sadigov added that he did not agree with the decision and would file an appeal.

Giyas Ibrahimov and Bayram Mammadov, both members of opposition civic movement NIDA and final-year students at Azerbaijan Slavic University, were arrested on drug charges on 10 May 2016. However, the real reason for their prosecution is the critical graffiti they wrote on a statue of former President Heydar Aliyev. Both youths have claimed that they have been arrested for exercising their right to freedom of expression.

On 12 May 2016, Baku Court sentenced Bayram Mammadov and Giyas Ibrahimov to four-month pre-trial detention period. Their detention term was further extended in September. The youth activists have reported being tortured whilst in detention. On 25 October, Baku Grave Crimes Court sentenced Giyas Ibrahimov to 10 years in jail.

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