On September 13, the Khatai Court of Baku considered the claim of the “Toplan” Center for the Care of Homeless Dogs against four animal defenders: Aynur Babazade, Nijat Ismail, Elkhan Mirzoyev, and Ilham Nasirov.
The plaintiffs, Gunel Musayeva and Jalal Melikov, demand that the activists be held criminally liable for libel and insult – to arrest or fine everyone in the total amount of 100 thousand manats (58 thousand dollars).
The plaintiffs saw insults and damage to their business reputation in the activists’ publications on social networks about the cruel treatment of stray dogs by “Toplan” employees.
One of the defendants, Mirzoyev, told reporters that the activists only expressed concern about the animals. The dogs disappear after they are brought to “Toplan”, he said.
Activists believe that the center continues the vicious practice of the “dog box” of the Soviet era, when stray dogs were caught and killed. They demand transparency of the Toplan Center’s activities, admission to its territory, monitoring of activities and reporting on the fate of animals delivered there. The next court hearing is scheduled for October 5.
The plaintiffs were not available for comment. The lawsuit against the activists was filed under the Articles 147.1 “Slander” and 148 “Insult”. Under both articles, they could face up to six months in prison.