[Update] On March 31, Shahin Haciyev was sentenced to six years on bogus drug possession charges. Haciyev was arrested in November of last year. Speaking in court, Haciyev’s lawyer said the charges were unsubstantiated and that he will be appealing the court’s decision, according to reporting by Meydan TV. The opposition Popular Front Party condemned the sentence, calling the charges false and stressing that the arrest was connected to Haciyev’s criticism of the authorities on social media. In February, two other members of the Popular Front Party, Gulnara Rahimova and Matanat Mahmarzayeva (Turan) were questioned by the police over their social media posts.
On March 19, a member of the opposition Popular Front party, Shahin Haciyev was sentenced to 30 days administrative detention. According to Azadliq Radio, Azerbaijan Service for Radio Liberty, Haciyev was taken from his home in the city of Ganja on March 17. Two days later, a court sentenced Haciyev to 30 days administrative detention. According to the radio service, his charges are unknown.
The party spokesperson in an interview with Azadliq Radio said Haciyev’s arrest is directly linked to his political activism and criticism of authorities online. “He was a staunch critic of the regime. This is why he was arrested in January 2021 and sentenced to 25 days in administrative detention for disobeying authority – Article 535.1 of the Code of Administrative Offenses.”
The Ministry of the Interior has not yet responded.