Arrests of "anti-war" activists in Azerbaijan
Activists against war
Since September 19, four activists and a journalist who spoke out against military actions in Karabakh have been arrested in Azerbaijan on various charges. Despite statements by law enforcement agencies that all of these individuals were arrested for specific acts, they themselves, as well as human rights activists, claim that it was their statements on social media that caused their persecution.
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The journalist stated that he had been subjected to violence during detention
On September 21, journalist Nurlan Gahramanly (better known by his pseudonym Libre) was sentenced to 30 days of administrative arrest. At the court hearing, the journalist stated that he had been subjected to violence.
“Nurlan stated in court that the Sumgayit police took him away from his home and handed him over to the Main Anti-Corruption Department of the General Prosecutor’s Office. On the way Nurlan was insulted and humiliated. In the department he was beaten by three people in front of the prosecutor, they tried to find out the password to his phone,” said one of the activists who was present in court.
According to him, Nurlan Gahramanly had bruises on his arms and legs.
The journalist was charged under Article 388-184.108.40.206 of the Code of Administrative Offenses (placement of information prohibited for dissemination on the Internet information resource or in the information and telecommunications network, as well as failure to prevent the placement of such information).
Nurlan Gahramanly pleaded not guilty and noted that the arrest was related to his anti-war statements.
A few days before, on September 13, the journalist was summoned to the State Security Service. He said that he had been threatened with rape there because of his posts on social networks.
The SSS did not respond to the journalist’s statement.
The former diplomat was accused of disseminating prohibited information
A day earlier, public figure Emin Ibrahimov received 30 days of administrative arrest on the same charge.
He is a former diplomat who worked at the Azerbaijani Embassy in the United States, the country’s diplomatic mission in Uruguay and others.
Agil Layij, Ibragimov’s lawyer, said that during a meeting with his client, the latter told him the real reason for his arrest. According to him, it consists of criticism on social networks.
“They knocked on his door and introduced themselves as employees of Azersu (state company for distribution of tap water). As soon as he opened the door, several people in civilian clothes burst into the apartment and forcibly grabbed him. They also searched the house without a court order and took many things. Among them are phones, computers, video recorders.
Emin Ibragimov was taken to the Department of non-criminal proceedings of the General Prosecutor’s Office,” the lawyer said.
Ibragimov also told his lawyer that he was brought to this office without shoes and socks. The prosecutor’s office accused him of “supporting terrorism” for his social media postings.
The court decision on 30 days of administrative detention also reflected the issue of return of Samsung and iPhone phones, HP computer and video recorder. The issue of return was entrusted to the prosecutor’s office. This proves that these things were stolen from the house. It is not clear from the court decision on what legal basis they were seized.
“In the statements he wrote in his social media accounts, there is no speech about supporting terrorism. The stamp about the arrest of Emin Ibragimov for his opinion can be seen already in the court decision itself,” Agil Lajij said.
Emin Ibragimov believed that the operations in Karabakh were conducted within the framework of Russian interests and wrote about it in his latest Facebook posts.
A veteran of the second Karabakh war is also against combat operations
On September 20, Nemet Abbasov was sentenced to administrative arrest. It is reported that the activist was detained under Article 535.1 (Intentional disobedience to the lawful demand of a police officer or military officer) of the Code of Administrative Offenses. Nemat Abbasov’s relatives claim that he was actually arrested for anti-war statements:
“Although Nemat was himself a participant in the war in 2020, he is currently speaking out against the war and is being punished for it.”
Public activist Amrakh Takhmazov was also one of those sentenced to 30 days of administrative arrest. The day before his arrest, Takhmazov said that he was summoned to the State Security Service. According to him, the reason for the summons was his posts against the war on social networks.
Takhmazov was charged under Article 388-220.127.116.11 of the Code of Administrative Offenses (placement of prohibited information in an Internet information resource or information and telecommunications network, as well as failure to prevent the placement of such information).
“Hurt himself, and threw a knife at me.”
On September 19, the chairman of the Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Workers Afiaddin Mammadov was detained. He is accused of wounding. The injured person is not known to the public.
“When Afiaddin Mammadov left his house to go to a friend’s wedding, he saw the civilian police officers who had once arrested him in the courtyard and thought to himself: why are they here, maybe they have come for him again. When he tried to turn around and walk away, he was knocked to the ground by a sudden blow. He had been punched in the nose, his shirt was covered in blood. When he recovered from the blow and stood up, he saw that his hands were already handcuffed. After his hands were handcuffed, the police officers easily put a knife in his hand and obtained “fingerprints.”
In court, the investigator stated that Afiaddin was swearing in the street,” wrote activist Gulnara Mehtieva, who attended the court hearing.
According to Afiaddin Mammadov, he did not injure anyone, the man, whom he does not even know, injured himself and threw a knife at him.
According to the court decision, the activist received 4 months of preliminary arrest.
Afiaddin Mammadov has been repeatedly subjected to administrative arrest. Last time he was arrested on August 1, and only on August 31 he was released.
In addition to all these arrests, according to the Interior Ministry’s official data, more than 10 people were invited to police stations to “spread misinformation” about the fighting in recent days. “Preventive talks were held with them,” the Interior Ministry said in a statement.