Trial of imprisoned Azerbaijani poets held in Iran

August 8th, 2012
On August 7th the trial of Azerbaijani poets arrested in Iran launched. Poets Farid Huseyn and Shahriyar Hajizade answered the questions and announced that they are innocent.

They said that there was not any criminal purpose behind their visit to Iran.

Their relatives and two employees of the Azerbaijani Consulate in Tabriz attended the hearing, press service of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry reported to the APA.

According to the foreign ministry’s report, the questions were about the purpose of the poets’ visit to Iran. The judge did not inform the participants about the charges on which the youth poets are accused. The court decision will be announced in the coming days. The poets said that they arrived in Iran to attend the poetry festival and had no intent to commit a crime.

Azerbaijani poets were detained for 3 months before being officially charged. Farid Huseyn and Shahriyar Hajizade traveled to Iran to attend a poetry festival where they were arrested on May 2nd. Later it turned out that they were put into prison in Iran.

Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry sent five protest notes to Iran demanding explanation for the case. But there was no response to these notes.

According to Iranian media reports, the poets were arrested for espionage against Iran, but it was not officially confirmed. Following negotiations between Azerbaijani and Iranian authorities, an employee of the Azerbaijani Consulate in Iran met with the imprisoned poets. At the meeting the poets said that they are charged for illegally arriving in Iran.