The 35-year-old resident of Nakhchivan was arrested in April, 2021. He was charged with Article 148 of the Ciminal Code (slander or insult using fake accounts on internet information services). In June, the Nakhchivan City Court sentenced the user to ten months. According to Azerbaijan Service for Radio Liberty reporting, the same court, reviewed the motion filed against the court’s June decison on October 24. In its ruling, the court decided to replace the sentence with a fine. Taking into account, the time spent behind bars since April, the court then also ruled to remove the fine.
The man, whose name is only identified by his initials, K.M., was jailed over a series of tweets from 2020, targeting the head of the Supreme Assembly of the Autonomous Republic of Nakhchivan, Vasif Talibov.
AIW was unable to verify the tweets. Only two tweets with the same text appeared in search results. Both belonged to two different users.
This is the first case where a user of social media platform, was arrested and then jailed explicitly over a text posted online and specifically on Twitter. Previously reported cases of harassment and initimidation of online activists, including detentions and/or arrests were justified with other offenses listed under the Criminal Code. Most common charges are hooliganism, disobeying authority, and drug posession.