RUSLAN BASHIRLI REFUSED EARLY RELEASE

August 22nd, 2011
Yesterday, the early release appeal of New Thought Youth Movement Chairman Ruslan Bashirli was considered in prison #1 of the Justice Ministry Penitentiary Service. Judge Azer Ismayilov presided over the hearing.

The appeal was denied: Bashirli remains in prison.
Bashirli’s lawyer, Tahir  Khanaliyev said as Bashirli has already served three quarters of his sentence,  early release was a possibility. Bashirli has been in prison for  6 years, and will serve a further  11 months behind bars.
Bashirli's prison guards gave him a poor assessment, describing him as introverted and unremorseful – he maintains he is innocent of the charges to seize governmental power – and on these grounds cannot be considered to have been rehabilitated. The lawyer argued that the assessment is unfair.
According to him, the recommendation that the prison submitted to the Presidential Pardon Commission in October 2010 was entirely positive.
Lawyer Tahir Khanaliyev said that the arrest of New Thought Youth Movement Chairman Ruslan Bashirli politically motivated, and  there is no political impetus to release him.
Public Prosecutor Bashir Jafarov spoke on behalf of the state and society and said that Bashirli should serve his whole sentence to the end. Bashirli commented on this statement, arguing that the prosecutor does not have any right to speak on behalf of society.
His lawyer said that they will take the issue to the European Court of Human Rights.
BACKGROUND
New Thought Youth Movement Chairman Ruslan Bashirli was arrested on the eve of  the parliamentary elections in May, 2005.  The Grave Crimes Court sentenced him to 7 years in jail on July 12th 2006.  He was slandered and arrested for his activity during the meeting of Azadlig (“freedom”) election coalition between Musavat, APFP, and ADP parties during the 2005 parliamentary elections.