Appeals Court Holds Theologian Bagirzade in Custody

Baku Appeal Court dismissed theologian Taleh Bagirzade’s appeal of the ruling by the Sabunchu Court. He is to be detained for two months on charges of illegal possession of drugs, according to his lawyer Cavad Cavadli.

According to Cavadli, Bagirzade said in court that he considers himself innocent, and drugs had been planted. Bagirzade believes that he is being prosecuted for his public activities and sermons. The lawyer said that a judicial complaint would be heard on April 18, which addresses whether or not Bagirzade will continue to be held at the Chief Directorate for Combat against organized crime.

On March 31, Bagirzade was arrested on charges of illegal possession of drugs (Article 234.1). According to investigators, 1.026 grams of heroin were confiscated from him. 

However, religious activists are convinced that the real reason for his arrest is Bagirzade’s sharp public criticism of country authorities in his sermons. -16B06-


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