Activist Bakhtiyar Hajiyev arrested in Baku
Activist Bakhtiar Hajiyev arrested in Baku
Activist Bakhtiyar Hajiyev has been arrested. The court sentenced him to one month and twenty days in prison for the period of investigation in the criminal case against him. The activist’s lawyer, who was not allowed to attend the court hearing, said that the defense would file an appeal. The expert community considers this decision a political play.
- “The situation in the region remains tense” – Pashinyan at meeting with Putin
- US Ambassador to Georgia: “The government is responsible for Saakashvili’s health”
- Abkhazian official fired for not agreeing to privatization of Escher sports stadium
The Khatai District Court of Baku sentenced public activist Bakhtiyar Hajiyev to a period of investigation for about two months on December 9, as reported to journalists by his lawyer Agil Laij.
The activist was found guilty under the articles of the Azerbaijani Criminal Code “hooliganism” and “contempt of court.” He faces a sentence of up to three years.
Speaking in court, Hajiyev denied the charges, saying that he was being persecuted for his political activities, including criticism of the authorities in international forums.
The defense does not agree with the decision of the court and intends to file an appeal against the arrest.
What is Hajiyev accused of?
Hajiyev is accused of hooliganism in connection with the complaint of journalist Ulviya Alovlu. There has long been a conflict between Hajiyev and Alovlu, and they mutually accused each other of slander. At one of the trials, a verbal skirmish began between them, which turned into a brawl. After that, a criminal investigation was launched against Hajiyev, Turan reports.
The conflict with Alovlu began because of the kittens. So, a journalist and an activist quarreled because of the unwillingness of one of the parties to give the other kittens of her cat. Domestic dispute resulted in mutual accusations and litigation.
Bakhtiyar Hajiyev has repeatedly stated that the authorities took advantage of this fact to avenge his criticism.
Who is Bakhtiyar Hajiyev?
Bakhtiyar Hajiyev received his master’s degree from Harvard University in the United States. He is known as an ardent critic of Azerbaijani government policies.
He has repeatedly been arrested and subjected to repression. In 2011 he was arrested on charges of military service evasion. Hajiyev was recognized as a political prisoner.
In August 2022 he wrote a statement to the presidential administration renouncing Azerbaijani citizenship due to violations of his rights.
The arrest of Bakhtiyar Hajiyev has become the main topic of discussion among Azerbaijanis on social networks.
“Without a doubt, Ilham Aliyev is the customer behind the arrest of Bakhtiyar Hajiyev. Even lawyer Agil Laij was not allowed into the completely empty court building after the break. Bakhtiyar was deprived of his right to defense. Preparing for the post-Putin period, Aliyev hasdecided to neutralize everyone who does not get on the bus [referring to the government-organized trips of party leaders to Karabakh by bus – JAMnews].
This arrest will cause a great international outcry. Bakhtiyar has authority in the European Union, the Council of Europe and other international organizations. I have no doubt that the Council of Europe and the EU will take very serious measures against Azerbaijan.”
Political observer Shahin Jafarli also expressed his opinion on Facebook:
“Those who arrest such a well-known activist as Bakhtiyar Hajiyev declare to the whole world serious problems with human rights and freedoms in Azerbaijan.
This arrest may have a small but far-reaching result in creating problems in ensuring the sovereignty and state power of Azerbaijan in the part of Karabakh controlled by Russia. Because it neutralizes the position expressed at the highest level that “we are ready to ensure the rights and security of Armenian citizens living in Karabakh as well as other citizens of Azerbaijan”, and creates the basis for the argument (or pretext) of the opposing side “as should we believe that the government, which does not ensure the rights of Azerbaijanis, will give us these rights?”
There may be those who do not share this point of view, or consider it too inflated. Fair. But there is no doubt that the arrest is politically motivated and not legal. Bakhtiyar Bey must be released immediately!”
Activist Bakhtiar Hajiyev arrested in Baku