Tural Hasanzade’s Criticisms of Authorities on Facebook Land His Relative Behind Bars

May 13th, 2016

Ramiz Zeynalov, the brother-in-law of the former political prisoner Tural Hasanzade, who now lives in Germany as a political refugee, has been detained over Hasanzade’s criticisms of the government on Facebook social network, Tural Hasanzade told the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS). Tural Hasanzade himself was arrested for his participation in the protest rallies “Stop Soldiers’ Death” held on January 12, 2013 and “Move Your Guns Away From Us” held on January 26, 2013. Although the court sentenced him to 4 years in jail, soon after he was released on parole due to his illness.

According to Tural Hasanzade, his brother-in-law was arrested and taken to Jalilabad Regional Police Department in the evening of May 13.

“They told my brother-in-law at the police department that they arrested him because of my Facebook posts. The chief of the police department demands that he contact me directly and put forward conditions. But I won’t contact them under any circumstances and won’t fulfill any of their conditions,” Hasanzade said.

Tural Hasanzade added that his brother-in-law Ramil Zeynalov was sentenced to 1-month administrative arrest, and that the police have threatened to arrest his family members and to bring drug charges against his brother-in-law unless he stepped back.

Tural Hasanzade has written a critical Facebook post about Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s daughter Leyla Aliyeva. Hasanzade also wrote the following post on his Facebook page about the NIDA activists (Giyas Ibrahimov and Bayram Mammadov) arrested for what they had written on the statue of the late ex-president Heydar Aliyev: “arresting two youths on drug charges for one useless and damned Satan’s statue is an old habit of a scoundrel like Ilham Aliyev.”

Recall that, prior to this, Meydan TV director Emin Milli’s brother-in-law, journalist Gunel Movlud’s brothers, and Azadliq newspaper editor-in-chief and Azerbaijani Hour TV program host Ganimat Zahid’s relatives were arrested on drugs charges because of these journalists’ criticisms of the government.