VIDADI ISGANDAROV’S COURT APPEAL DENIED

February 15th, 2012
Yesterday, the Azerbaijan Supreme Court, under the chairmanship of judge Hafiz Nasibov, refused the cassation appeal filed by human rights defender Vidadi Isgandarov.

Isganderov, who has been in prison since his April 17th arrest, appealed against the Shaki Appeals Court’s decision of October 18th 2011. Isgandarov’s lawyer Yalchin Imanov and public prosecutor Mahir Abbasov attended the proceedings. Imanov filed a motion requesting the judge to allow Isgandarov to attend, but the judge ruled that there is no need for him to be present.

Yalchin Imanov then made his speech and said that in their appeal lodged with Shaki Appeals Court against the August 27, 2011 decision of Goychay Regional Court, they had noted failure to conduct a fair trial, and filed a motion requesting to accompany the trial with court investigation. Without giving any excuse, the Appeals Court had denied the motion. Therefore, Imanov appealed to the Supreme Court requesting to annul the decision. However, the Judge decided to not grant the appeal.

BACKGROUND

Vidadi Isgandarov ran in the November 2010 parliamentary elections for the Goychay-Agdash #89 seat. According to the indictment, Isgandarov entered election precinct #16 of Garabaglar village on voting day and obstructed voting procedures by stealing 16 damaged ballot papers from the commission leader. A few hours later he committed similar actions in precinct #17 in Mirzahuseynli village and precinct #2 in the House of Culture in Goychay.

Isgandarov was detained at the April 17th protest organized by the Public Chamber opposition coalition. Nasimi District Court  initially sentenced him to 15 days of administrative detention, then to pre-trial detention when the criminal case was launched.

He was charged under Articles 159.3 and 160.1 of the Criminal Code for obstructing the implementation of the right to vote and interfering or influencing the operation of election commissions. On August 27th, 2011 Goychay District Court sentenced him to 3 years in prison.  On November 2nd, Shaki Appeal Court denied Isganderov’s first appeal.

International human rights organizations consider Vidadi Isgandarov a prisoner of conscience, and demand his immediate release.