Another Azerbaijani deported from Germany sentenced to imprisonment
Pyunkhan Karimli, a member of the opposition Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan, and arrested in January, has been sentenced to six years in prison. He was charged with drug trafficking. Karimli’s lawyer believes that he is being persecuted for political reasons. He was deported from Germany to Azerbaijan a month and a half before his arrest.
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The Baku Grave Crimes Court delivered the verdict today. Karimli had earlier been denied refugee status. In court, the opposition figure denied the accusations, claiming that he was being persecuted for political reasons.
The lawyer Javad Javadov is of the same opinion. According to the latter, there is no evidence of Karimli’s guilt in the matter.
In spite of this, the court found Karimli guilty and sentenced him to six years in prison. Earlier the prosecutor had proposed a sentence of seven and a half years in prison. The defense intends to appeal.
Vahid Karimov, the activist’s father, also believes the charge to be false.
“My son was arrested when he left the tax department. Could he go there with drugs in his pocket? This is a false accusation. Drugs were planted on him. My son is being persecuted for participating in rallies in defense of political prisoners in Azerbaijan and for criticizing the authorities.
“I would not regret if he were given ten years in prison for political activities, but I will not accept drug charges,” Turan news agency quoted the prisoner’s father as saying.
Why is Germany returning citizens of Azerbaijan?
In 2014 an agreement was signed between Azerbaijan and the European Union on the readmission (return) of illegal migrants.
According to this agreement, those who do not meet the requirements for entry, stay and residence in the countries specified in the document are subject to extradition. The agreement stipulates their identification and safe return to their homeland.
According to the State Migration Service of Azerbaijan, 420 people were extradited to Azerbaijan in 2021 alone, 39 out of Germany. There were 440 requests for readmission in the same year.
Relatives of deported Azerbaijani political prisoners protest in front of German Embassy in Baku
Protest in front of the German Embassy in Baku: friends and relatives of various opposition activists and journalists rallied against their extraction from Germany to Azerbaijan and their consequent arrests
The number of deportees from EU countries in 2021 was 2.9% more than in 2020.
Since the agreement on readmission to Azerbaijan, 2,013 people have been deported from the EU countries. Requests for readmission of another 4,160 people have been approved. About 2,147 more people are expected to be deported.
A deal between the governments of Germany and Azerbaijan?
Azerbaijani political emigrants currently living in Germany believe that all these “deportations-arrests” are the result of a deal between the governments of Germany and Azerbaijan.
“The German government continues to give Azerbaijani political emigrants to Aliyev. Deportations are carried out on the basis of a list sent from Baku. Despite the arrest of five political emigrants who returned to Baku earlier, the political emigrants were again deported tonight. The current German government is ready to sell each of us out for a bribe. International organizations are also silent”, Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli said.