in Azerbaijan rape survivor continues to face harassment online by the perpetrator

Asgar Agazade was arrested last year following an accusation by a rape survivor. His victim, is an activist, Sanay Yagmur. Agazade has denied the accusation from the start however, seven months into the ongoing investigation and the trial, he is now facing a possible seven-year prison term. In addition, new evidence based on Agazade’s own statement now reveals that the perpetrator continued harassing and threatening Yagmur online.

The new evidence emerged during the hearing on June 22, in which, Agazade confessed hacking Yaghmur’s email address and obtaining private information about her travel itinerary which his family then used to target the activist on social media platforms and leaking the false information to local media with the goal of humiliating and further threatening the activist. The perpetrator’s family, alleged Yaghmur was lying about her studies abroad [Yaghmur left for her master’s degree last fall.] 

Lawyer Zibeyde Sadigova, who represents Yagmur, said unlawfully obtaining personal information, and spreading it, is a criminal act in itself. However, no further steps have been taken to investigate this criminal act. 

Some, including Yagmur’s family, suspect that the perpetrator was not acting alone in hacking into Yagmur’s email and obtaining private flight information and that the State Security Services was on the case as well. 

In a separate blackmail attempt, the perpetrator’s family alleged in an interview with a website that Yagmur lived in Istanbul and was married to a woman. The claim was later retracted by the perpetrator’s sister in an interview aired on the YouTube show “Let’s talk straight.”