Journalist arrested and given pretrial detention


On April 21, Zerkalo newspaper correspondent Rauf Mirgadirov was ordered to be held in pretrial detention for 3 months by a Nasimi district court decision.

In a briefing held after the court hearing, the journalist’s lawyer Fuad Agayev said that he met his client at isolation ward of the Ministry of National Security.

“Rauf told me that he does not admit such grave charges and had not committed any crime. I condemn the journalist’s deportation and his handover to Azerbaijan, because this happened through violation of Rauf’s rights. I believe that Turkey has been informed in advance that Rauf Mirgadirov will be arrested in Azerbaijan and had its share in violation of Rauf’s rights,” the lawyer said.

The Prosecutor General’s Office has disseminated information on the matter. It says: “Given the reasonable grounds for suspecting that citizen of Azerbaijan Republic, Mirgadirov Rauf Habibulla was since April of 2008 engaged in secret collaboration by employees of Armenian special services in detriment of Azerbaijan Republic’s sovereignty, national security, territorial integrity and the ability to defend, and under their instructions passed to them information about socio-political and military situation in the country, as well as other information constituting a state secret together with photos and diagrams for use in carrying out hostile activities against the Republic of Azerbaijan, by meeting them repeatedly in Armenia, Georgia and Turkey, a criminal case has been launched on that fact under Article 274 (treason) of the Criminal Code.”

Note that Rauf Mirgadirov was arrested on April 19, immediately after being deported from Turkey. He is charged under Article 274 (treason) of the Criminal Code.

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