PROTEST MEETING IN SUPPORT OF JAILED YOUTH ACTIVIST AND COURT HEARING OF THE ACTIVIST

February 14th, 2011
Today, a group of youth held a protest meeting in Heydar Aliyev Park, in Sumgayit. They voiced slogans like “We are all Jabbar, we are all drug addicts!”, “We don’t need bread, just opium, opium, opium”.

Prior to the protest meeting, the Sumgayit City Court heard the lawsuit filed with regard to the jailed Azerbaian Popular Party youth member Jabbar Savalanli, who was subjected to  inhumane treatment and forced to give a statement without a lawyer. Savalanli is charged with drug possession. Savalanli’s lawyers Anar Gasimov and Ashabali Mustafayev protested to Judge Elman Mammadov’s presiding over the court. Therefore, the Court postponed the hearing to February 18th, for considering the protest against the Judge.
The Court Chairman Zeygam Huseynov did not allow journalists to take photos or record video in the process. However, it was in the Judge Elman Mammadov’s authority to make a decision on it.

BACKGROUND

Jabbar Savalanli was arrested on February 5, in front of his apartment building. He is being charged with possession of narcotics. Sumgayit District Court sentenced him to 2 months of pre-trial detention.
Local human rights organizations and youth organizations believe that the arrest was political and that Savalanli was punished for his opinions, which are critical of the ruling regime.