On November 5, NIDA Civic Movement member Elmir Tahmin and activist Tapdig Mammadov were detained in Ganja city for spray-painting the slogan “No to Dictatorship” in Heydar Aliyev Park located in New Ganja town. On November 6, the court sentenced them to 30 days in prison. According to the youths’ relatives, the youths were tortured while in police custody and did not have lawyers at the time of arrest.
On November 6, Elmir Tahmin’s mother was sacked by the aluminium factory she was working for.
Recall that, prior to this, activists Giyas Ibrahimov and Bayram Mammadov were arrested for writing graffiti.
Members of opposition civic movement NIDA and final-year students of Azerbaijan Slavic University, Giyas Ibrahimov and Bayram Mammadov were arrested on drug charges on 10 May 2016. They were involved in writing graffiti on a statue of former President Heydar Aliyev. Both youths have claimed that they have been arrested for exercising their right to freedom of expression.
The two youths went missing since the evening hours on 10 May 2016. It was only on 12 May 2016 that the Ministry of Internal Affairs released information on the youths’ arrest.
According to the statement of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, as a result of search carried out by the officers of the Drug Enforcement Department of Baku City Main Police Office, Police Office #22 of Nasimi District Police Department and Police Office #25 of Nizami District Police Department, 2.607 grams of heroin was found and seized on Giyas Ibrahimov on, and additional 1 kilogram and 10 grams of heroin were found and seized during the search of his apartment. As a result of another search conducted by the officers of the Drug Enforcement Department of Baku City Main Police Office and Police Office #12 of Sabunchu District Police Department, 2.904 grams of heroin were found and seized on Bayram Mammadov, and additional 1 kilogram and 150 grams of heroin were found and seized during the search of his house.
Both activists were charged with drug possession upon arrest. On 12 May 2016, Baku Court sentenced Bayram Mammadov and Giyas Ibrahimov to a 4-month pre-trial detention. Their detention term was further extended in September. The youth activists have reported being subjected to torture whilst in detention. On October 25, Baku Grave Crimes Court sentenced Giyas Ibrahimov to 10 years in jail.