Togrul Ismayilov, head of opposition Republican Alternative (ReAl) Movement’s Sabail-Nasimi Assembly, and Elshan Gasimov, deputy head of ReAl’s Binagadi Assembly, have been sentenced to 7-day administrative arrest by Sabail District Court’s decision, ReAl’s Board member Rasul Jafarov has said. The youth activists are charged under Article 535 (wilful disobedience to lawful requirements of a police or military officer) of the Code of Administrative Offences.
The youth activists were apprehended by unknown men in Sabail district of Baku on August 15 and were taken to an unknown destination. Togrul Ismayilov and Elshan Gasimov were arrested on their way to get the newly published promotional materials (flyers) about ReAl’s jailed chairman Ilgar Mammadov. ReAl Board, the youth activists’ family members and lawyer Elchin Sadigov tried unsuccessfully to find out their whereabouts. They even called the 102 service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, but to no avail.
ReAl Board has issued a statement on its arrested members, assessing this fact as abduction and another example of illegal pressure directed against ReAl’s political stance and activities. “ReAl Board declares that no pressure can divert our organization from its path. ReAl board also stresses that it bears the sole responsibility for all political risks undertaken by ReAl and liability associated with them,” the ReAl’s statement reads.
Recall that ReAl’s Executive Secretary Natig Jafarli was arrested on August 12 on charges of illegal business activity and abuse of power and was sentenced to 4-month pre-trial detention by Nasimi District Court. And, ReAl Movement chairman Ilgar Mammadov has been in prison for three and a half years.
According to lawyer Elchin Sadigov, Togrul Ismayilov and Elshan Gasimov were detained by the police at about 6 pm on August 15, reportedly for disseminating posters which read “Let’s Say No to Constitutional Amendments.”
“Both youths spent the last night in the custody of Police Station #9 of Sabail District Police Department. In the morning, they were brought to court. I should also note that Bakhtiyar Humbatov, an employee of the publishing firm where the posters were printed, has also been sentenced to 7 days of administrative detention. Upon detention, the youths were pressured to sign the [detention] protocol,” the lawyer said.