Orkhan Bakhishli and his colleagues consider his six-year prison sentence to be politically motivated " />

Azerbaijani opposition figure sentenced to six years on drug charges

Orkhan Bakhishli and his colleagues consider his six-year prison sentence to be politically motivated

Azerbaijani Popular Front Party member Orkhan Bakhishli has been sentenced to six-years in prison for alleged drug dealing.

Bakhishli denies the charges against him and asserts they are politically motivated. A group of Azerbaijani human rights advocates holds the same opinion, as voiced in a list of political prisoners that was published by the group on 1 September.

Orkhan Bakhishli was arrested in the beginning of May. The prosecutor asserted that he was found to be in possession of six grams of heroin. When the case came to court, Bakhishli refused to testify in protest of the fact that his supporters had not been allowed into the courtroom.

Contact.az reports that several days before Bakhishli’s arrest, he had accused the authorities of the country of murdering well-known journalist Elmar Huseynov, whose murder took place in 2005 and has still not been brought to a close. Bakhishli’s colleagues believe this is the reason behind his arrest.

Several other activists including Bayram Mammadov and Qiyas Ibrahimov are also currently imprisoned in Azerbaijan, serving sentences for dubious drug charges.

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