Trial on blocking sites

Baku / 03.05.17 / Turan: Hearings on blocking  a nmber of opposition sites on the suit of the Center for Electronic Security of the Ministry of Communications continued  today in the Sabail district court of Baku, under the chairmanship of Nureddin Bagirov. It should be reminded that the Ministry motivates its suit with the representation of the prosecutor's office, which saw in the publications on the websites of the Azerbaijani service of Radio Liberty, Internet TV "Meydan", Turan TV Azərbaycan saati and the newspaper "Azadlig" "threats to the legitimate interests of the state and society".

The lawsuit refers to the Constitution and other provisions of the law relating to the overthrow of the existing system, mass riots, etc. The  trial was followed by representatives of the public, journalists, employees of the embassies of the United States, Britain, Germany and the European Union.

A large number of activists gathered in front of the court building, including opposition leaders and representatives of the intelligentsia. Defendants were lawyers Adyl Ismailov, Elchin Sadigov and Samed Rahimli. The plaintiff submitted 7 publications to the court from the site azadlı, 5 c, 2 c, and 4 c- azerbaycasaatı.com.

The court did not satisfy the defense's petition for a linguistic examination, the Attorney General's Office as a third person to give explanations to the prosecutor's office, interrogation of authors of publications as witnesses. Attorney Sadigov noted that a linguistic examination was needed to find out which phrases were in violation of the law.

A representative of the Ministry of Communications said: "the president who respects himself and the people should not have done it." In addition, the plaintiff called violations of the article law: "The dark business of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation in Romania" and the APA agency report on suicides.

In turn, representatives of the respondents asked if the sites of the APA and Report agencies, which published suicide messages, could also be blocked.

To this the representative of the Ministry of Communications declined to reply, saying: "The prosecutor's office appealed to us and we on the basis of this appealed to the court." The lawyers stated that the claim was not justified and pointless. The judge announced the completion of the judicial investigation. At the next meeting, the final statements of the parties will be held. Observing the trial, the head of the Popular Front Party Ali Kerimli told journalists that the authorities declared the free press as an enemy because it exposed the facts of corruption, human rights violations.

"By far-fetched pretexts they want to destroy the free press. Citizens of Azerbaijan should know that if the authorities manage to do this, then, without exaggeration, the country will turn into North Korea. If the government already believes that reports about suicide statistics are unconstitutional actions, then this is a complete absurdity and in the country no one can express their opinion. Therefore, the Azerbaijani people must express their support for the free press, for the fate of not only the press, but also the country is being decided.

I am grateful to citizens who resist this. I want to warn indifferent that in one day they will be knocked on. To prevent this, we must move on to actions," Kerimli said. -03C06-

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