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On October 21, Baku Grave Crimes Court chaired by Judge Anvar Seyidov continued youth activist Giyas Ibrahimov’s trial on drug charges.
At the hearing, Giyas Ibrahimov’s lawyer Elchin Sadigov made a speech. The lawyer said he had done a research and found out that the lawyer, who had his name and signature on one of the documents in Ibrahimov’s case file, had not been handling any case for a long time. Sadigov asked the court to commission an expert assessment in this regard. The court denied the motion.
Thereon, the court announced the completion of the judicial investigation. The prosecutor made a speech and asked for a 9-year jail sentence for Giyas Ibrahimov.
Lawyer Elchin Sadigov requested a continuance to prepare for his speech. The proceedings will continue on October 25.
Background: Members of opposition civic movement NIDA and final-year students of Azerbaijan Slavic University, Giyas Ibrahimov and Bayram Mammadov were arrested on drug charges on 10 May 2016. They were involved in writing graffiti on a statue of former President Heydar Aliyev. Both youths have claimed that they have been arrested for exercising their right to freedom of expression.
The two youths went missing since the evening hours on 10 May 2016. It was only on 12 May 2016 that the Ministry of Internal Affairs released information on the youths’ arrest.
According to the statement of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, as a result of search carried out by the officers of the Drug Enforcement Department of Baku City Main Police Office, Police Office #22 of Nasimi District Police Department and Police Office #25 of Nizami District Police Department, 2.607 grams of heroin was found and seized on Giyas Ibrahimov on, and additional 1 kilogram and 10 grams of heroin were found and seized during the search of his apartment. As a result of another search conducted by the officers of the Drug Enforcement Department of Baku City Main Police Office and Police Office #12 of Sabunchu District Police Department, 2.904 grams of heroin were found and seized on Bayram Mammadov, and additional 1 kilogram and 150 grams of heroin were found and seized during the search of his house.
Both activists were charged with drug possession upon arrest. On 12 May 2016, Baku Court sentenced Bayram Mammadov and Giyas Ibrahimov to a 4-month pre-trial detention. Their detention terms were further extended in September. The youth activists have reported being subjected to torture whilst in detention.