Court Refused to Transfer Orkhan Bakhyshly to Penal Colony

Baku / 26.12.19 / Turan: The Baku Court of Appeal refused Orkhan Bakhyshly, youth activist of the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA), to commute the sentence.

In connection with the serving of one third of the sentence, the activist requested that he be transferred from prison No. 14 to a penal colony.

However, the court of first instance, on the basis of the conclusion of the administration of the colony number 14, which gave him a negative profile, refused Bakhyshly.

The activist filed a complaint and its consideration took place on December 26 in the Baku Court of Appeal.

However, the appellate court also refused to mitigate the punishment of the opposition member.

The defense considers the prison leadership’s arguments that Bakhyshly was “not sincere”, “arrogant”, “did not admit his guilt”, etc. groundless.

“What does “not sincere” mean? How is this determined? As regards not pleading guilty, according to the European Convention on Human Rights and case-law of the European Court of Human Rights, this is the right of a person. And no guilty plea cannot be used against him,” said Zibeyda Sadigova, the lawyer.

The defense intends to appeal the decision of the court of appeal.

Recall that Bakhyshly was detained on May 6, 2018, and the police said they had found 6 grams of heroin at him. The activist himself denied the allegations, saying that the police themselves planted the drugs on him. On September 18, a court sentenced him to 6 years in prison.

On June 4, 2019, the Supreme Court reclassified the charge from Art. 234.4.3 (large-scale drug trafficking) to 234.1 (Illegal acquisition, storage, manufacture, processing and transportation of drugs without a sale purpose), and reduced the prison term to 3 years.

A few days before his arrest, on May 3, at an event to mark World Press Freedom Day at the grave of journalist Elmar Huseynov, Bakhyshly accused the authorities of killing the journalist. According to colleagues, this was precisely the reason for his arrest. Human rights activists recognized Bakhyshly as a political prisoner. -06C-


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