Sardar Babayev rejected treason charges

The day before the Baku Court of Appeal (BCA) heard a complaint against the arrest of Shiite theologian Sardar Babayev.

The complaint was turned down, lawyer Javad Javadov said.

According to him, Babayev rejects treason charges put against him believing them as politically motivated.

He considers himself a victim of repression carried out due to the recent tensions with the neighboring state (Iran), the lawyer wrote on his Facebook page.

As a reminder, Babayev was detained on October 19. It later became known that he was criminally charged under Article 274 (treason) of the Criminal Code.

A member of the “Spiritual Persons of Azerbaijan” Association, theologian Jalal Shafiyev said that the real reason for Babayev’s arrest was his publication on the website maide.az of speeches and books of Iran’s supreme religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Akbar Khamenei.

Besides, Babayev got permission from Khamenei personally as a mujtahid (the highest academic degree in Islam that allows one to give interpretations on matters of religion) to perform certain religious matters.

Note that several other Shiite theologians were briefly detained in the past week.

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