Today, July 20th, Sabail District Court held a hearing on the lawsuit filed by jailed youth activist Bakhtiyar Hajiyev against General Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Hajiyev claims that he was subjected to torturing during the investigation on his case. The Court did not grant the youth activist’s lawsuit.
The media representatives and members of defense committee for Hajiyev’s rights, who arrived to observe the court hearing, were told that the process will not be open to public. No reason was given.
The hearing that started much later than the scheduled time was held without the attendance of Hajiyev’s lawyers.
After the hearing, head of the defense committee for Hajiyev’s rights Intigam ALiyev told IRFS that Hajiyev himself protested against the hearing’s being closed to the public.
“Bakhtiyar stated in the hearing that the events regarding torturing and ill-treatment should be open to public. Hajiyev filed a written motion requesting the Court to hold the process open to public and ensure the attendance of the community representatives in the hearing. The motion was rejected. Then Hajiyev requested a meeting with his relatives to discuss if it is needed to hire lawyers or not. After long deliberation, Hajiyev could meet with his relatives for few minutes. They decided that it is of no use to hire lawyers if the community representatives are not allowed into the courtroom,” Intigam Aliyev said.
After the hearing, it was announced that Hajiyev’s lawsuit against the Prosecutor’s Office was not granted.
Aliyev said that it was not an unexpected decision at all and that they will take the issue to the European Court after passing the internal court instances.
Criminal case against Bakhtiyar Hajiyev was launched in the end of January, 2011. At that time, he signed a statement of commitment not to leave Ganja city. In the end of February his pre-trial detention was replaced with release under police control.
Ganja City Court sentenced youth activist Bakhtiyar Hajiyev to 2 years in jail on May 18, 2011, charging him with dodging military service.
It is widely thought that Hajiyev was arrested for his activity on social networking sites and his support of the March 11 Great People’s Day campaign.