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The press services of the State Security Service and the Prosecutor General’s Offices of Azerbaijan Republic have issued an official statement on the arrest of Fuad Ahmadli, Chairman of Khatai district Youth Committee of the opposition party Azerbaijan Popular Front Party (APFP). Fuad Ahmadli was arrested by officers of the State Security Service (SSS) early on August 18. According to his relatives, the SSS officers detained him on the street and then searched his apartment. All of the books found in Fuad Ahmadli’s house were seized. The youth activist’s father says among the seized books there were the likes of “How to Recite Surah Yaseen” and books authored by writer Aziz Nesin. A 48-hour detention order has been issued against Fuad Ahmadli.
“As a result of the investigations carried out on the basis of the requests of companies providing mobile services in Azerbaijan Republic, citizens of Azerbaijan Republic Israyilov Shahin Israyil oglu, Ahmadli Fuad Zafar oglu, Musayev Etibar Imamgulu oglu and Gasimov Vugar Shamisdan oglu have been detained on suspicion of committing the crimes of infringement of the legislation on operative-search activity and abuse of official powers by implementing operative-search actions without having the authority to carry out such actions. It has been determined that Shahin Israyilov, a chief engineer for the main network at Bakcell LTD LLC, Fuad Ahmadli, an operator at the Call Centre of Azerfon LLC, and Etibar Musayev, an operator of Azercell Telecom LLC’s Customer Service Centre, have – since the beginning of their employment at the above-mentioned companies, which provide mobile communication services in the territory of the country, up until 18 August 2016 – used their official powers deliberately contrary to the service interests and have – at the requests of Vugar Gasimov and other individuals – illegally channelled the personal data of numerous subscribers of the above mobile operators, as well as their call logs, phone tracking data and other confidential information to Vugar Gasimov et al. on a regular basis through SMS correspondence and various secret ways, and thereby caused significant damage to the rights and legitimate interests of natural persons and legal entities. The Main Investigation Department of the State Security Service has launched a criminal case on the fact under Articles 302.1 (infringement of the legislation on operative-search activity) and 308.1 (abusing official powers) of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan Republic. Israyilov Shahin Israyil oglu, Ahmadli Fuad Zafar oglu, Musayev Etibar Imamgulu oglu and Gasimov Vugar Shamisdan oglu have been named as defendants and the measure of pre-trial detention has been selected in respect of them by a court decision. During the inspection carried out at their addresses of residence, material evidence attesting to their illegal activities were found and seized. During the inspection carried out at the address of residence of Fuad Ahmadli, who has been identified as the chairman of Khatai district Youth organization of Azerbaijan Popular Front Party, religious literature prohibited by law and CDs, printed speeches of Fetullah Gulen, and documents on members of the so-called Gulen community and persons called Hizmet (Service) imams and their mutual relations, were found among his personal belongings. During the inspection carried out at the address of residence of Vugar Gasimov, copies of personal documents of a number of citizens of Azerbaijan Republic, a lot of phone numbers registered in his name and other items related to his illegal activity were found among his personal belongings. The investigation is underway,” the joint statement reads.
APFP has released a statement on the arrest of Fuad Ahmadli, Chairman of the Party’s Khatai branch Youth Committee.
In its statement, the Party has rejected the charges against Fuad Ahmadli and stated that he was arrested in the context of the recently escalating repression against the Party.
“The authorities have plotted an insidious scheme against APFP and embarked on the next wave of repression. Party Chairman Ali Karimli is targeted by false and slanderous accusations of having ties to Fetullah Gulen, who is accused of attempting military coup in Turkey. To justify this claim, they have fabricated a fake and shallow letter addressed to Fetullah Gulen in the name of Ali Karimli, which does not even spell the Popular Front Party’s name properly, and have spread it on social networks. It is obvious that the authorities want to falsely accuse APFP and its chairman of being related to Fetullah Gulen. It is for this very reason that the recently arrested APFP youth activist Fuad Ahmadli is presented as a Fetullah Gulen supporter in an official statement,” the Party’s statement reads.