Youth Activist’s Appeal Rejected

February 10th, 2017

➢ Bayram Mammadov’s lawyer Elchin Sadigov requested the passing of a verdict of not guilty for the youth activist and the acknowledgement of the violation of Articles 3, 5, 6, 10, 13 and 18 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in respect of him;
➢ The court dismissed the appeal and upheld Baku Grave Crimes Court’s judgment of 8 December 2016.

On 10 February, Baku Court of Appeal chaired by Judge Hasan Ahmadov held a hearing on the appeal filed against Baku Grave Crimes Court’s judgment of 8 December 2016 against NIDA Civic Movement member Bayram Mammadov.

Bayram Mammadov’s lawyer Elchin Sadigov asked the court to acquit his client. “I know that the court knows the truth, but acts contrary to it. You, too, know that Bayram Mammadov has been arrested for writing a slogan on a statue. Bayram Mammadov’s rights were violated during arrest. The search and seizure record lacked the signature of the lawyer. In that case, the proofs obtained should have been removed from the evidence list. The fact that the attesting witnesses have participated in several proceedings along with the same team of operatives suggests their dependence on the operatives. We have presented numerous documents about this to the court of first instance and remarked on this in detail in the appeal,” the lawyer said. “Based on all this, we request the passing of a verdict of not guilty for Bayram Mammadov and the acknowledgement of the violation of Articles 3, 5, 6, 10, 13 and 18 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in respect of him.”

Presiding judge Hasan Ahmadov noted that the lawyer was not speaking on the drug charges filed against the youth activist. “As if there were drugs. I do not want to speak something that was not the case,” the lawyer replied.

The presiding judge then asked for the opinion of Bayram Mammadov. “Do you also believe that you did not have drugs,” the judge asked. “I do not believe. I am sure,” Mammadov answered.

Public prosecutor Jeyhun Azadaliyev requested that the appeal not be granted and Baku Grave Crimes Court’s judgment of 8 December 2016 be upheld.

After a 10-minute deliberation, the court announced the verdict. According to the verdict, the appeal was rejected and the original judgment dated 8 December 2016 was upheld.

Background: NIDA activists Bayram Mammadov and Giyas Ibrahimov were arrested at night on 10 May 2016, after writing “Happy Slave Holiday” on ex-president Heydar Aliyev’s statue facing the Central Bank of Azerbaijan. The youths were charged under Article 234 (illegal purchase, storage or selling of drugs) of the Criminal Code. Both Ibrahimov and Mammadov were eventually sentenced to 10 years in jail by Baku Grave Crimes Court’s judgments dated respectively 25 October 2016 (presiding judge Anvar Seyidov) and 8 December 2016 (Presiding Judge Eynulla Valiyev).