Journalist Tofig Yagublu faces more serious charges

April 27th, 2013

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New charge has been brought against the arrested journalist of Yeni Musavat newspaper, Tofig Yagublu, journalist’s lawyer Nemat Karimli told the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS) on April 27. The lawyer believes that the new charge is unfounded and aimed at a further extension of the journalist’s pretrial detention term.

“One of the previous two charges filed against Yagublu, “organizing public disorder” (Article 233/Criminal Code), was replaced by “organizing or participating in mass disorders accompanied by violence, looting, arson, destruction of property, application of fire-arms or explosives, or armed resistance against representative of authority” (Article 220.1/Criminal Code).  This is a more serious charge, because it carries a penalty of imprisonment from 4 up to 12 years” said the lawyer.

Background: Tofig Yagublu was arrested on February 4th 2013, for allegedly attempting to undermine sociopolitical stability in Ismayilli region by calling on local people to resist the police and block the roads, during his visit to the region on January 24. He was eventually sentenced to two months of pretrial detention by Nasimi District Court on charges of “organizing public disorder” (Article 233 of the Criminal Code) and “resisting the representative of authorities or using violence against them” (Article 315 of the Criminal Code). Yagublu’s appeal against the decision was denied by the Baku Appeals Court on February 8.