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Summary: Hearing 5
Operations officer of Drug Enforcement Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Sehran Akbarov testified. According to the witness, drugs had been found on Giyas Ibrahimov and in his house;
Testifying as a witness, Baku City Main Police Department officer Imran Aliyev said they had not used physical or psychological force against Giyas Ibrahimov;
Giyas Ibrahimov’s mother Shura Amiraslanova said the drugs had been planted on their house by the detectives;
Lawyer Elchin Sadigov filed a motion to summon Main Drug Enforcement Department officer Shirali Babayev to testify as a witness. The motion was sustained.
Baku Grave Crimes Court chaired by Judge Anvar Seyidov held a hearing on the criminal case of Giyas Ibrahimov where he recounted his experience of being tortured while in detention. The defendant was represented by Elchin Sadigov while the prosecution was represented by Ali Aliyev.
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 Department, 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, 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. The youth activists’ detention term was extended in September. The youth activists have reported being subjected to torture whilst in detention.
Interrogation of witnesses:
Operations officer of Drug Enforcement Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Sehran Akbarov testified at the hearing. “Main Drug Enforcement Department received a tipoff that a person by name Giyas Ibrahimov engaged in drug use and drug trafficking. To check the accuracy of the information, an operational team was formed. We took an operational position on Mardanov Brothers Street in Nasimi district. We approached the person by name Giyas Ibrahimov, introduced ourselves and asked him to go with us. We took him to Baku City Main Police Department. There, we searched him and found a folded packet on him. He said it was drug. Then, we went and searched his house in the presence of attesting witnesses. We found a folded plastic bag (containing drugs) under the mattress of the bed and seized it,” the witness said.
Baku City Main Police Department officer Imran Aliyev took the stand next. According to the witness, the 22nd police office received information in May 2016 that a person by name Giyas Ibrahimov was using and dealing drugs, and they immediately left for Mardanov Brothers Street and detained that person. The witness further noted that they had searched Giyas Ibrahimov’s clothes, including his socks, and found drugs on him, and also found a folded plastic bag (containing drugs) under a bed mattress. The witness stated that Giyas Ibrahimov had told them that those folded packets were drugs.
Asked by public prosecutor Ali Aliyev whether the youth activist had been subjected to pressure, the witness said they had not used physical and psychological force against Ibrahimov.
Giyas Ibrahimov’s mother Shura Amiraslanova also testified as a witness at the hearing. “It was about 7 pm or a few minutes past 7. I had come home earlier, as I felt unwell. I was cooking dinner for Giyas when someone went in through the door. We live in a dormitory, so the door is usually open. They asked me whether I was Giyas’ mother. I said yes. Fifteen of them dashed in. They said ‘your son uses drugs’. I leaned against the wall, but could not stand and fell down. Giyas said ‘don’t fear, it’s because of my political views’. I said ‘I see my son off to the university with one manat in his pocket’. They went closer to the bed and pulled out a red folded packet (containing drugs) resembling a book. I said ‘whatever is that, you have put it yourselves, because I was sleeping in that bed and have just got out of it’. They said ‘no, your son has put it’. They took it and left. After they left, I saw something sprinkled on the bed. I checked it and saw that it was granulated sugar. My son used to go to the university with nothing but his clothes and shoes. He has nothing to do with drugs. He is a righteous child and a mother’s boy. They detained him due to his writing on Heydar Aliyev’s statue,” Shura Amiraslanova said.
Lawyer Elchin Sadigov filed a motion to summon Drug Enforcement Department’s third employee, Shirali Babayev for cross-examination in court. The motion was granted.
The next court hearing was set for October 11, 5 pm.