Another opposition media figure sentenced in Azerbaijan
On 24 July, Baku City Sabail District Court sentenced Faig Amirli (Amirov), Director of the Adarlig newspaper, to three years and three months imprisonment.
Amirli has also been fined in the amount of AZN 39 000 (approximately USD 23 000).
At a previous court session, the public prosecutor demanded 4.5 years of imprisonment for Amirli.
Amirli was arrested on 20 August 2016 for the alleged instigation of inter-religious and inter-ethnic enmity. According to police reports, Amirli was linked to Fethullah Gülen, a disfavored Turkish cleric and politician accused of orchestrating a military coup attempt in Turkey in 2016. Gülen‘s book, found in Amirli’s apartment, was produced as evidence. However, Amirli flatly denied having any links with the Gülen movement.
On April 17 2017, the prosecutor’s office brought new charges against Amirli, namely on charges of tax evasion and abuse of officials powers, while the two previous charges were dropped.
Agil Layijev, Airli’s lawyer, flatly denied the charges brought against his client.
“Charges against Faig Amirli are unsubstantiated. Moreover, they are neither a dream nor even a hypothetical assumption. Those charges have nothing to do with Amirli,” said Layijev.
In his words, the evidence was fabricated.
Human rights activists declared Amirli a political prisoner. Human Rights Watch and Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières/RSF) condemned the arrest.