Azerbaijani opposition leader gets two years in prison
Azerbaijani opposition activist Alizamin Salaev was sentenced to two years and three months in prison on charges of libel after Salaev accused a policeman of raping a girl.
Salayev’s fellow party members consider the verdict politically motivated.
Alizamin Salaev is a member of the opposition party of the Azerbaijan Popular Front Party (APFP) and lives in the city of Salyan in the south-east of the country.
In January 2020, Salaev accused Khamza Azizov, one of the local police officers, of tricking and blackmailing a girl into intimacy. The dispute between the policeman and the opposition member was filmed and hit the Internet. Social networks also said that the girl in question was sentenced to seven years for “inflicting bodily injuries with a stabbing and piercing object” to the same Azizov.
Almost immediately after the scandal, Salaev was arrested for 30 days on charges of disturbing public order while intoxicated and disobeying the police.
Salaev stated that the security forces tortured him, but the authorities did not respond to this complaint.
And later, Khamza Azizov filed a lawsuit against Salaev, accusing him of slander and insulting him. The trial took place on April 20, and very quickly a guilty verdict and sentence was passed.
In addition, another criminal case was opened against Salaev – causing bodily harm to a neighbor – which his relatives also called fabricated.
In 2019, Salaev had four administrative arrests – basically, this happened before or after opposition rallies.
The Azerbaijan Popular Front Party called the verdict against Salaev “another case of repressions against party members,” since over the past few days several members have been arrested under various pretexts.
Also, according to the party, its leader Ali Karimli has been under pressure from the government for a week now.