Elnur Shahverdiyev is a member of a political party ReAL, and an avid critic of the state on social media platforms. According to information provided by his brother, Shahverdiyev was detained by the police on July 14 at his place of work. “Police showed up at the bakery where Shahverdiyev worked, and said, there was a complaint from a customer. They then forced him on the ground, handcuffed him, and detained him.” According to the brother, police said Shahverdiyev was sentenced to 30 days in administrative detention for disobeying police.
But Shahverdiyev’s family as well as members of the ReAL party believe the grounds for the activist’s arrest were his posts on Facebook. As such, his posts shared between May 25 and July 14 were all removed from the platform after his detention.
On August 15, Shahverdiyev was pressed with new charges, this time, drug possession, and sentenced to another 30 days in administrative detention, according to reporting by Turan News Agency.
In an interview with Caucasian Knot, Natig Jafarli, a member of the political committee of the ReAl Party, questioned new accusations leveled against Shahverdiyev. “Elnur is known for his civil position; he sharply criticizes the country’s authorities and speaks about the human rights violations and officials’ arbitrariness,” Jafarli told Caucasian Knott.