Shirvan court of appeal failed to release blogger

On May 18, the Shirvan court of appeal, presided over by Rafiq Jafarov, on Thursday rejected the appeal of blogger Eyvaz Yahyaoglu, leaving him under arrest. This was reported to Turan by the National Democratic Party, of which the blogger is a member.

The court of first instance declared Yahyaoglu guilty under Article 535.1 of the Contravention Code (failure to obey the lawful demands of the police) and ordered his arrest for 28 days.

According to the court decision, Yahyaoglu “deliberately disobeyed the lawful demands of police officers in front of the administrative building of the Shirvan town police department” on May 9.

However, the court did not consider Yahyaoglu’s testimony that he himself came to the police on the first call. According to the blogger, three men approached him in the courtyard of the police department and, using force, took him to the duty station where they started insulting him.

However, the court of first instance did not investigate this testimony. The court arrested Yahyaogly solely on the basis of the police officers’ testimony. The defence also drew attention to the contradictions in the case materials. For example, the police report stated that the blogger was detained on May 9 and “released” on May 10, although there was no such thing.

Besides, the court imposed arrest, while it should have imposed an alternative punishment in the form of a fine, as the activist was held administratively liable for the first time.  Yahyaoglu linked his arrest to critical reports on social media.

However, the court of appeal did not take into account all these details and upheld the verdict.

As the court of appeal is the highest instance in administrative cases, the defence will now lodge a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights.

The blogger’s colleagues are convinced that the activist is being persecuted for publications on his Youtube channel “Şirvan Tv Eyvaz Eloğlu” .

It ought to be noted that after the arrest all the reports from this blogger’s page were deleted.

Note that Yahyaoğlu’s arrest was previously condemned by Reporters Without Borders International and the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety.

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