On January 29, 2012, the Khachmaz District Court held a hearing on the case of Khayal TV journalists Vugar Gonagov and Zaur Guliyev arrested in connection with March 1st, 2012 protest in Guba. Judge Anar Ibrahimbayov presided over the hearing. The journalists’ rights were defended by Media Rights Institute lawyers Rashid Hajili and Elchin Sadigov. The trial continued with witness testimonies, as reported to the IRFS by lawyer Rashid Hajili.
Journalist Vugar Gonagov complained about the unbearable conditions in the detention center of the Khachmaz District Police Office, where he is held. “The conditions in the train, in which they brought us to Guba from Baku, also were very poor. Let Ombudsman come and see our situation here” said Gonagov.
Lawyer Rashid Hajili requested the judge to improve conditions at detention centers and also the transportation of detainees. After a break, the judge announced that he had requested the relevant authorities to use car instead of train while transporting detainees. According to Hajili, unbearable conditions in Khachmaz District Police Office remain unchanged.
The trial was postponed until February 7, 10:30am.
After the online dissemination of a video in which Rauf Habibov (the then chief of Guba City Executive Power) insulted Guba citizens, there was a riot in Guba on March 1, 2012. The citizens set Habibov’s house on fire and there were clashes between people and the police. After the protests president Ilham Aliyev dismissed Rauf Habibov from his post. On March 13, 2012, Khayal TV correspondents Vugar Gonagov and Zaur Guliyev and up to 20 other Guba residents were arrested in connection with the protest. Vugar Gonagov and Zaur Guliyev are accused of infringement of public order (Article 233/Criminal Code) and abuse of position (Article 309/Criminal Code).