On May 14, the Supreme Court dismissed a cassation appeal against the decision of a preliminary appeal court hearing filed by religious blogger Rashad Ramazanov, who was convicted of drug charges and serving a 9 year jail sentence.
Blogger’s lawyer Azer Nagiyev told that the preliminary hearing on Ramazanov’s appeal was held in Baku Appeal Court on January 9. But a copy of the court decision was not given to the defense side and a week later the Court of Appeal reviewed the case on merits and upheld the decision of the court of first instance.
Lawyer Nagiyev believes that all the charges against Ramazanov are based on the allegations of the police officers who detained him, and there is no other evidence of his guilt.
Background: Blogger Rashad Ramazanov was detained on 9 May 2013, near the “January 20” metro station and taken to the Department for Combating Organized Crime. The police reportedly found 9 grams of heroin on the blogger. Ramazanov rejects the charges. On 13 November 2013, Baku Grave Crimes Court sentenced the blogger to 9 years in jail.
Amnesty International has recognized Ramazanov as a prisoner of conscience.