Azerbaijani theologian Taleh Bagirzade, head of the Movement for Muslim Unity, has been tortured while being held at the Main Organized Crime Department, reported his lawyer Javad Javadov on January 7.
“I went to the Main Organized Crime Department on 29 December 2015, where I was formally presented to Taleh Bagirzade as his defense counsel. Although I did not have a chance to speak to Taleh Bagirzade in private, we had a brief conversation. He has been subjected to severe torture and his nose has been broken. He said that they are trying to force him to make incriminatory statements against both himself and others. Despite this, he does not consider himself guilty. His right to telephone his family members has been violated; in addition, he has not received parcels and even basic clothing that have been brought to him,” the lawyer said.
According to the lawyer, the complaint filed on the violation of Taleh Bagirzade’s rights will be heard in Nasimi District Court on January 14, at 15.00.
In the meantime, on January 7, the Chairman of Nardaran Elders’ Council, Natig Karimov was arrested and charged under Article 274 (treason, i.e. a deliberate action committed by a citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic to the detriment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, state security or defensibility of the Azerbaijan Republic: changeover to the enemy, espionage, distribution of state secrets to a foreign state, rendering assistance to a foreign state, foreign organization or their representatives in the realization of hostile activity against the Azerbaijan Republic) of the Criminal Code.
Sabail District Court ordered that Natig Karimov be detained for 4 months.
On January 7, the State Security Service issued a statement on the arrest of the Nardaran Elders’ Council Chairman Natig Karimov. “As a result of the investigation by the State Security Service, reasonable suspicion has been established regarding the involvement of Baku city, Sabunchu district, Nardaran settlement resident Karimov Natig Alovsat oglu’s in a long-term secret plot with employees of a foreign special service agency, fulfillment of orders given by that agency and betraying his state by carrying out espionage to the detriment of the state security of the Azerbaijan Republic,” reads the statement.