The activist of “Muslim Unity” stated in court about torture

Samir Babayev, an activist of the Muslim Unity Movement (MUM), accused of drug trafficking, said in court about torture after detention. Despite the physical pressure, Babayev refused to specify himself. 

Babayev’s testimony was heard at the Baku Serious Crimes Court on May 11. Babayev said that he was detained on the morning of December 2 last year in the village of Mashtaga, Babayev’s relatioves told Turan. He got out of his car and went to the post office, when he returned to the car he was seized and taken to the police.

There they put three bags of drugs in his pocket and demanded him to pull them out of his pocket in front of a video camera and say that they belonged to him.  When Babayev  refused, he was beaten.

Having failed to obtain a confession on camera, Babayev was personally searched in the presence of two “witnesses”. According to the investigation, Babayev was found to have three bags of metafmetamine, with a total weight of 9.695 grams.

Babayev was charged under the  Article 234.4.3 (large-scale drug trafficking), and he faces from 5 to 12 years in prison.

According to the defense, there is no reliable evidence of Babayev’s guilt. According to the precedent decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, a suspect should be searched at the place of detention. Because otherwise, the detainee is under the control of the police and there is a possibility that drugs may be planted on him. The next court hearing is scheduled for 14:00 on June 7.

Samir Babayev is recognized by the Union for Freedom as a political prisoner of Azerbaijan. The prosecution was not available for comment. The Muslim Unity Movement is an opposition religious organization that has criticized the country’s authorities for violating the rights of believers and restricting religious rights.

In 2016, the leader of the Movement, Taleh Bagirzade, was sentenced to 20 years in prison on charges of calling for the overthrow of the constitutional order, illegal possession of weapons, etc.

Several other members of the Movement were also convicted under similar articles. All of them are recognized as political prisoners.

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