Pre-Trial Detention Period Extended for Opposition Activist

January 6th, 2017

On 6 January, Nasimi District Court considered a petition to extend the detention period of Fuad Ahmadli. Fuad is an activist with the opposition party, Azerbaijan Popular Front Party (APFP), his lawyer Asabali Mustafayev reported. The lawyer said that the youth activist’s detention period was prolonged for two months at a closed court hearing.

Commenting on the prosecution office’s argument that the reason for continuing the detention was the need for more investigative actions, the lawyer said ‘It is similar to arresting a person before gathering evidence’.

In the attorney’s opinion, to keep someone in custody there must be reasonable suspicion and proof corroborating this suspicion, but there is no such evidence in the case of Fuad Ahmadli.

“Fuad Ahmadli is neither willing to hide from the investigative agency, nor does he have the ability to influence the investigation. There is no need to keep him in detention. It runs contrary to the requirements of the law,” Mustafayev noted.

The lawyer underlined that the documents on the youth activist’s arrest had already been submitted to the European Court of Human Rights, and so would the material regarding the extension of his pre-trial detention period.

But until then, the lawyer first intends to appeal Nasimi District Court’s decision prolonging his client’s detention term.

Background: Fuad Ahmadli was detained on 18 August 2016. His detention period, which was last extended on 11 November 2016, was about to expire on 12 January.

Ahmadli is charged under Articles 302.1 (infringement of the legislation on operative-search activity) and 308.1 (abusing official powers) of the Criminal Code. According to the indictment, Fuad Ahmadli, an operator at the Call Centre of Azerfon LLC, channelled personal information of subscribers to certain people. The indictment mentions him as a supporter of Fetullah Gulen, the leader of a terrorist organisation. The indictment further reads that religious literature and CDs prohibited by law, speeches of Fetullah Gulen, and documents on their mutual relations with so- called “Hizmet Imams” have been seized from his apartment during the search.