Jailed Poet Saday Shakarli’s Health Worsens

saday sekerli

Imprisoned critical poet Saday Shakarli’s health has deteriorated, the poet’s lawyer Bahruz Bayramov told the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS).

Saday Shakarli was arrested on December 23, 2015 and is charged under Article 182.3.2 (extortion of a large amount of property) of the Criminal Code. He is accused of extorting 10,000 AZN by threatening to publish revelatory, discrediting and fictitious articles and to disseminate defamatory information about a senior official of the Ministry of Taxes on the mass media. Saday Shakarli was sentenced to 10 years in jail by Baku Grave Crimes Court’s judgment of May 16, 2016.

According to the lawyer, Saday Shakarli’s health has declined at Baku Detention Center #1, where he is currently held. “He has heart problems and suffers from diabetes. He was even put into the medical unit several times when his condition deteriorated. We will request Saday Shakarli’s transfer to the treatment facility of the Penitentiary Service,” the lawyer said.

Poet Saday Shakarli included critical remarks about former president Heydar Aliyev and current president Ilham Aliyev in his book titled “Wolf’s Heart.” Saday Shakarli and his lawyers maintain that he was arrested for the views expressed in the book. It is no coincidence that all copies of the book were seized during the search of the poet’s house.

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