Siyazan Protesters Secretly Sentenced

On 28 March, Guba Regional Court convicted the eleven people arrested for participating in a rally of protest over socio-economic difficulties held in Siyazan region in January of last year.

At a hearing chaired by Judge Elman Ahmadov, the court handed down jail sentences of 6 years for Muslum Azimov, 5 years for Elchin Aliyev, 5 years for Talib Agamaliyev, 5 years for Kamran Abdullayev, 6 years for Zaur Shakarov, 5 years for Nizami Ganiyev, 2 years for Aydin Safarli, 4 years for Joshgun Bagishov, 4 years for Fariz Karimov, 4 years for Namig Mastanov and 4 years for Abasat Suleymanov.

There is a lack of information on the hearing, as it was held without the participation of the media and members of the public.

Recall that, a group of residents of Siyazan region staged a protest against the rise in prices of flour and other products outside the local executive power building on 12 January 2016. The crowd dispersed after the head of the local executive power promised to fulfil their demands. Subsequently, a number of protesters were detained overnight.

On 13 January, another rally was held demanding the release of the detainees and led to an incident, which ended with the detention of even more people. Eleven of them were arrested and brought before the court.

The statement issued by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Prosecutor General’s Office regarding the events read that a group of residents of Siyazan region held a street procession uncoordinated in the manner prescribed by the legislation on 12 and 13 January 2016, and fifty-five people were detained for committing illegal actions. The statement also noted that a criminal case was launched on the fact under Articles 186.2.2 (deliberate destruction of or causing damage to property), 233 (organisation of or active participation in actions leading to violation of public order) and 315.2 (resistance or use of violence against a representative of authority) of the Criminal Code.

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