one blogger and activist arrested [updated November 8]

[Update] Blogger Elchin Hasanzade, was released from jail on November 2 according to reporting by Meydan TV. Following his release, Hasanzade said, “I am free. I must go on. The fight against corrupted and tyrant officials continues from where it stopped.”

[Update] Turan News Agency reported on August 10 that blogger Elchin Hasanzade was transferred to a medical facility of the Penitentiary Service. Hasanzade’s relatives told Turan that the blogger’s health worsened in prison. In addition to his already existing condition, the blogger suffers from a kidney infection. 

[Update] Azadliq Radio reported on June 14 that the health of jailed blogger Hasanzade is critical. The news platform said the blogger was diagnosed with narrowing of the aortocoronary arteries. 

[Update] According to Azerbaijani online news platform, jailed blogger Hasanzade is suffering from health complications. Hasanzade’s wife said, her husband is complaining of pain in his heart and kidneys and that he was transferred to a medical ward for treatment. 

On March 2, blogger Elchin Hasanzade and activist actor Ibrahim Salamov were sentenced to eight months in prison on accounts of slander and insult of the Criminal Code by the Sheki Court of Appeals. 

The two men are accused of criticizing a man named Shahriyar Mustafayev, who heads the Housing Department of the city of Mingachevir in their articles and social media posts. Both men, claim the allegations are bogus and that they are being punished for exposing the arbitrariness of Mingachevir city officials instead. 

Blogger Elchin Hasanzade, who has worked with some of the local papers in the city of Sumgayit, prior to his temporary relocation to Mingachevir, claims he was kicked out of an apartment he lived, in Mingachevir because of his criticisms against local officials online. And that it is the head of the city administration who is behind their arrest.

The head of the housing department refutes the claims in the meantime.  

The case dates back to November 2020, when the head of the housing department appealed to the local court. At the time, both men were sentenced to one year of correctional labor. The private prosecutor was dissatisfied with the verdict and appealed against the aggravation of Hasanzadeh’s and Turksoy’s sentences.

Correction: the previous version of this article referred to Ibrahim Salamov as an activist. Salamov is also a theater actor at the Mingachevir State Drama Theater.