NGO Legal Education Society’s Office Still Sealed

June 28th, 2016

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The office of the Legal Education Society (LES) is still sealed. The organization’s office was searched back on August 08, 2014, its director was arrested and office door was sealed. LES director Intigam Aliyev was released on parole by the decision of Supreme Court Plenum on March 28, 2016, but the NGO’s office door remains sealed.

According to Intigam Aliyev, in addition to keeping the office closed, the Serious Crimes Investigation Department of the Prosecutor General’s Office has not returned the documents and equipment seized from the office so far.

“My personal bank account and the organization’s bank accounts still remain frozen. The documents seized from the office were not related to the charges brought against me, yet they were seized. Although I have been conditionally released, I am banned from leaving the country. I cannot engage in lawyer activity. The prosecutor’s office has seized all of the organization’s documents and mine, including tax and financial documents, and refused to return them to this date. Among those documents there were numerous documents related to the cases that I conducted both domestically and in the European Court. They were also confiscated by the prosecutor’s office during my arrest and are yet to be returned,” the human rights defender said.

Intigam Aliyev added that the restrictions would not be able to prevent his human rights activities.

Background: Intigam Aliyev was arrested in 2014. He was convicted on charges of tax evasion, misappropriation, illegal business, abuse of office and forgery and was sentenced to 7.5 years in jail by Baku Grave Crimes Court on April 22, 2015. His sentence was upheld by Baku Appeal Court on July 21, 2015 and later by the Supreme Court. Based on Prosecutor General Zakir Garalov’s petition submitted to the Supreme Court Plenum in March 2016, Intigam Aliyev’s sentence was commuted to a 5-year suspended sentence and he was released on March 28, 2016. However, the human rights defender is under an international travel ban.