Regional activist says he was pressured by police

April 18th, 2014

Tofig Gasimov, member of the NGO “Democracy Assistance”, who was detained in Salyan region, was transferred to Baku Investigative Detention Center on April 14. The Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS) was informed about this by his close relative today.

“Today he told us that he was pressured by the police in Salyan, as a result of which he had to slander Emil Mammadov, head of the organization he was working for. He also asked to be provided with an independent advocate,” said his close relative.

“On April 17, I had a face-to-face questioning with Tofig Gasimov. During the interrogation he said that he extorted money from business leaders in the region and said that it was my instruction. It is a slander. I think Tofig Gasimov was deceived that if he slanders me he will be released. On April 15, Tofig Gasimov refused services of independent lawyer Alayif Hasanov hired by the organization and said he did not need a lawyer,” noted head of the NGO “Democracy Assistance”, Emil Mammadov.

Note that Tofig Gasimov has been assigned a court-appointed attorney.

Background: Tofig Gasimov, civil rights lawyer of the NGO “Democracy Assistance”, was assaulted and beaten by unknown to him people on April 4, after which he was detained by the police and handed a 10-day administrative detention. Later a criminal case was opened against him under Article 182 (extortion) of the Criminal Code. He was placed in pretrial detention for a period of two months