Theologian Pressed to Testify against Head of ANS TV

A closed hearing was held in Baku Grave Crimes Court for former sector chief of Caucasian Muslims Office, theologian Elshan Mustafayev, who is currently held in the detention facility of the State Security Service. The theologian’s relatives were not granted access to the courtroom and had to wait outside the court building to get the latest updates from the lawyer.

After today’s hearing, Elshan Mustafayev’s relatives, who had gathered in front of the court building, said Elshan was innocent and had been arrested for refusing to fulfil the illegal demands of the former leadership of the Ministry of National Security.

Theologian’s mother-in-law Salima Sultanova shed light on what the illegal demands were about. According to her, when Elshan Mustafayev was arrested in December 2014, he was offered two options: either to sign the testimony against Caucasian Muslims Office chairman Allahshukur Pashazade, Corps Commander Gen. Rovshan Akbarov, and ANS President Vahid Mustafayev, or to go to jail for a lengthy term. “They told Elshan ‘testify against these persons and you are free to go to your family’. But Elshan did not do what they wanted, wherefore they tortured and arrested him,” Salima Sultanova said.

Theologian’s wife Vusala Mustafayeva also maintained that the father of her three children had been held in custody for more than a year and a half despite his innocence. She said the treason charge had nothing to do with Elshan, and asked for her husband’s acquittal.

Background: Elshan Mustafayev used to work as a sector chief at Caucasian Muslims Office. He founded the Public Union “Invitation to Moral Purity” in 2001. He has been the director of the “New East” Science Research Centre since 2005. In 2006-2007, he was the host of the TV programs “Friday Talk” on Ichtimai (Public) Television and “Honest to God” on ANS TV. Elshan Mustafayev returned to the country after working on a research project in Norway. He is charged under Article 274 (treason) of the Criminal Code.

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