Court of Appeal Upholds Detention of NIDA Activists

Today the Baku Appeal Court separately considered the request of two arrested NIDA activists, Rashadat Akhundov and Uzeyir Mammadov. They are charged under Article 228.3 (illegal possession of explosives in an organized group). Lawyers applied for abolition of the first instance court for the incarceration of the activists and replace this measure with other forms of punishment, which would have them released pending trial. However, the judge dismissed the request and ordered that the accused be retained in custody.

According to lawyer Namiq Hajiyev, the court did not take into account the positive response from BP, Akhundov’s employer. After his arrest, Akhundov was not fired from the company. The defense also presented a positive endorsement from his place of residence. 

Fahraddin Mehdiev, lawyer for Mammadov, also said his client's continued detention was unjustified. However, the court made a similar decision.

On March 7, activists Bakhtiyar Guliyev, Shahin Novruzlu and Mahammad Azizov were arrested. They were accused of preparing acts of violence during the upcoming protest on March 10 against the soldiers' deaths. According to investigators, explosives and drugs were found in the apartments of the accused.  However, their relatives said that employees of law enforcement bodies brought these substances and placed them in the apartments.

On March 14, another NIDA activist, Rashad Hasanov, was arrested. International human rights organization Amnesty International has recognized the arrested as "prisoners of conscience."

On March 30, two members of the NIDA board, Rashadat Akhundov and Uzeyir Mammadov were arrested and on April 1, Zaur Gurbanli was arrested..—16C06

 

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