Activist sentenced to 1 year in prison in Azerbaijan despite plaintiffs dropping their charges
Abid Gafarov was sentenced to one year in prison
Azerbaijani activist Abid Gafarov was imprisoned for 1 year by a local court. This happened despite the applicants’ withdrawal of their claim. Two human rights organizations immediately issued a statement condemning the court decision. According to human rights activists, the arrest of Gafarov is a political order.
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The Azerbaijani human rights organizations “Research Center against Torture” and “Human Rights and Agitation of Laws” issued a general statement in connection with the imprisonment of civil activist Abid Gafarov.
The statement notes that the arrest of Gafarov is a political order.
“We, as human rights organizations, call on the authorities of the country to recognize the right of citizens to freedom of speech and expression, as well as the right to political activity. The trial in the Yasamal District Court chaired by Judge Rauf Dashdemirov took place under conditions of gross violation of the law and the defense was not given an opportunity to present its arguments. Thus, the corresponding right granted to citizens by the Constitution is grossly violated”, the statement says.
The document notes that this arrest is a logical continuation of the campaign of imprisonment, one of the precedents of which was the recent arrest of Ilham Aslanoglu, who is actively investigating the Terter crimes:
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“Analyzing these two cases, one can single out an absurd detail: the speeches of the accused, which were regarded as insult and slander, did not contain the name of any of the applicants, there was not a single addressee, only general phrases were used. We note with regret that the arrest of one after another activists – investigators of the crime, the so-called. “Terter case” creates the impression that a special network of threats is exerting pressure on the law enforcement and judicial authorities of the country”.
At the end of the statement, human rights activists called on the country’s authorities to recognize human rights, reflected in the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan and international conventions. The organizations also called for the release of all social and political activists arrested for political reasons.
On Wednesday, July 13, 2022, a trial was held against Abid Gafarov, chairman of the Baku Unity Organization and host of the KimTV YouTube channel.
By the decision of the Yasamal district court of the city of Baku, Gafarov was deprived of liberty for a period of 1 year.
He is charged under the articles of “slander” and “insult” of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan.
After the trial, lawyer Elchin Sadigov told reporters that the conclusion of the examination was fake. “It was pre-ordered. We believe that the court was also biased”, Toplum TV quotes the words of the lawyer.
Plantiffs dropped their charges
The applicants in the Gafarov case were several veterans of the second Karabakh war.
According to them, speaking at a court hearing on May 27, Abid Gafarov called war veterans “obedient,” thereby insulting them.
But later, these same veterans stated in court that a gentleman’s agreement was concluded between the parties, and they had no complaints against Gafarov.
Veterans of the war, officially recognized as plaintiffs, wrote a corresponding statement about the withdrawal of the claim. Despite this, Judge Tarlan Akperov, who was in charge of this case, decided to refer the case to the Yasamal District Court.
Abid Gafarov is known for his social media coverage of the “Terter case”.