Republican Alternative (REAL) Movement’s Executive Secretary and authorized representative of Republican Alternative Referendum Initiative Group Natig Jafarli was arrested Friday night, on 12 August 2016. Charges have been brought against him under Articles 192.1 (illegal business) and 308.2 (abuse of official powers – when such actions lead to heavy consequences or are committed with the purpose of influencing the outcome of an election (referendum)), and Nasimi District Court has ordered Jafarli to serve pre-trial detention for 4 months. Jafarli’s home was searched during night hours and two computers and several legal documents were seized.
According to Natig Jafarli’s lawyer Javad Javadov, Jafarli is charged within the criminal case launched in 2014 into the activities of local and international NGOs.
The lawyer noted that Jafarli had previously been interrogated as part of this criminal case several times and at the moment there was no legal basis to arrest him.
Javad Javadov said they would file an appeal against Nasimi District Court’s decision ordering pretrial detention.
REAL Movement has also issued a statement on Natig Jafarli, saying they are convinced that he has been arrested directly on Ilham Aliyev’s orders .
REAL Movement chairman Ilgar Mammadov were arrested on 4 February 2013, in the wake of the protests that swept Azerbaijan’s north-western city Ismayilli on 23 January 2013 and resulted in the arson of the “Chirag” Hotel and 4 cars in the city. Mammadov was initially charged under Articles 233 (organization of actions promoting infringement of the public order or active participation in such actions) and 315 (resistance to a representative of authority) of the Criminal Code. Later, the charge under Article 233 was dropped, and a new charge under Article 220.1 (organization of mass disorders accompanied by violence, pillage, arson or destruction of property or participation in such disorders) was brought against him. By Shaki Grave Crimes Court’s judgment of 17 March 2014, Ilgar Mammadov was sentenced to 7 years in jail. The appeal against the verdict was not granted by Saki Appeal Court. On 13 October 2015, Supreme Court sent the case back to Shaki Appeal Court for re-consideration. Shaki Court of Appeal upheld this verdict on 29 April 2016.
On 22 May 2014, European Court recognized violation of Ilgar Mammadov’s rights under Articles 5.1 and 5.4 (right to liberty), 6.2 (presumption of innocence) and 18 (limitation on use of restrictions on rights) of the European Convention on Human Rights.