The Union “For Freedom of Political Prisoners of Azerbaijan” announced today an updated list of political prisoners, which includes 146 people. The previous list, announced in early August last year, included 192 people. Three members of the Islamic Party of Azerbaijan dropped out of the list at the end of their sentence: Firdovsi Mammadrzayev, Dayanat Samedov (cousin of IPA chairman Movsum Samedov) and Inglab Akhadli, deputy chairman of the party.
Because of the reduction of the term of punishment, by the decision of the Court of Appeal, two persons involved in the “Ganja case” were also released – Elvin Nazarov and Renat Mammadov.
Upon completion of the sentence, Ziya Asadli, a regional correspondent for the Azadlig newspaper, was released.
The editor of the website reallıq.info Ikram Rahimov was also released on parole.
In addition, the measure of restraint was changed and a member of the National Council Tofig Yagublu and former Defense Minister Rahim Gaziev were released from custody.
The rest of those who dropped out of the list are those brought to justice on charges of violating public order during the demonstration on July 14-15.
Five people remain under arrest for deliberately spreading coronavirus infection.
Blogger Aslan Gurbanov and journalist Mahmud Tagiyev were added to the list. The first was arrested after he published a post on facebook about the arrests of the PFPA activist Pasha Umudov and the former Minister of Defense Rahim Gaziyev, demanding their release.
He is charged under the Article 281.2 of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan (Open appeals against the state) and Article 283.1 (Incitement to national, religious, social hatred).
Gurbanov suffers from a neurological disease and, at the request of the defense, was transferred from the pre-trial detention center of the State Security Service to the Medical Institution of the Penitentiary Service.
The founder of the qafqaznews.az website, Mahmud Tagiyev, was arrested under the Article 183 (extortion through threats), after criticizing police officers.
The 146 people included in the updated list are classified into 8 groups:
“Journalists and Bloggers” – 7 people;
“Members of opposition parties and movements” – 7 people;
“Arrested after the rally on July 14-15, 2020” – 5 persons;
“Believers” – 46 people;
“Convicted in the Terter case” – 25 people;
“Convicted in the Ganja case” – 41 people;
“Life convicts” – 14 people;
“Political hostages” (arrested because of the political or journalistic activities of relatives) – 1.
The list was compiled by the director of the Institute for Peace and Democracy Leyla Yunus and the head of the Center for Monitoring Political Prisoners Elshan Hasanov.