Today, the Baku Serious Crimes Court chaired by Judge Samir Aliyev began consideration of the merits of a criminal case against members of the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA) Agil Humbatov.
Despite the fact that the process, in accordance with the requirements, had to be conducted in an open mode, in fact the meeting was closed.
Relatives and political supporters of Humbatov were not allowed into the courtroom.
Despite the fact that Humbatov himself and his family refused a lawyer appointed to the activist at the expense of the state, the meeting was held with his participation. This lawyer was not available for comment.
A member of the PFPA Presidium, Ilham Huseyn, considers it unreasonable to hold the court session virtually behind closed doors. According to him, even taking into account the requirements for observing social distance in a quarantine regime, 20 people could be accommodated in the hall.
“But nobody was allowed in the hall. This is an indicator of the formality of the institution of the court in Azerbaijan and its involvement in the mechanism of repression of the authorities,” Huseyn said.
Another member of the PFPA Presidium, Asif Yusifli, announced a new campaign of pressure by the authorities on this party and the National Council of Democratic Forces. He pointed out Humbatov’s innocence.
“His only ‘fault’ is that he went live on social networks and demanded that the authorities assign child benefits. The authorities just want to punish him and intimidate all other citizens,” Yusifli said.
Human rights activist Tezekhan Miralamli pointed out the illegality of holding the trial behind closed doors. “There is a decision of the Supreme Court, which establishes that persons with COVID-19 passports must be allowed into the hall. But no one was allowed to the Humbatov trial,” Miralamli said.
Humbatov was detained on August 11 this year. Humbatov is charged under the Article 126.2.4 (causing grievous bodily harm in a dangerous way out of hooligan motives) of the Criminal Code, which provides for a penalty of imprisonment from 6 to 11 years.
He is charged with stabbing a resident of the village of Zira, Yamen Mammadov. However, according to Humbatov’s wife, a provocation was committed against her husband and the real reason for the arrest of the activist was his criticism of the country’s leadership on social networks.
A year ago, Humbatov, after criticizing the authorities on the Internet, was imprisoned in a mental hospital.