police “visits” writer’s home during his live stream

Writer Keramet Boyukchol was briefly taken to the police for questioning after an alleged complaint to the police made by his neighbors. Police claimed neighbors complained he was making too much noise. 

Boyukchol is known for his criticism of the authorities on social media and in the numerous interviews, he has done with the media. 

The day he was taken in for questioning, Boyukchol was live on Facebook, raising yet again, the issue of economic difficulties faced by the general public in the country. He was still streaming live when the doorbell rang and he got up to open the door. Seeing the police the writer asked what was the purpose of their visit, to which one of the officers responded, saying his neighbors complained he was making too much noise. 

At some point, one of the officers entered the flat, without Boyukcol’s permission and in the absence of an arrest warrant and stopped Boyukchol from filming the scene. 

According to Boyukchol’s father, in an interview with Azadliq Radio, his son was taken to the police and released the next day without any charges. 

Boyukchol was also targeted online. In June, his Facebook account was compromised. All of his posts (over the last ten years) were deleted. 

two editors of online news platforms arrested

On May 13, editors Afgan Sadigov, from AzelTV and Sakit Muradov, from Xeberfakt.az were reportedly arrested on charges of extortion. The two were allegedly caught during operation. 

According to a statement issued by the Prosecutor General office, both men demanded a total of 15,000AZN from the officials at Sumgayit City Executive power in an exchange for not running a series of stories on their respective websites. The statement claims, both journalists were caught having received 10,000AZN. 

If found guilty, both journalists are facing up to ten years in jail. 

Previously Sadigov was arrested in November 2016 on charges of hooliganism. He was sentenced to two and a half years in jail in January 2017. Sadigov was released in May 2018. 

The same year, Sadigov was sentenced to 30 days in administrative detention for allegedly disobeying police orders. Upon his release, Sadigov said he was innocent and that he was tortured in detention. At the time, the Ministry of the Interior did not comment. 

In November 2018 Sadigov was sentenced once again to a month in prison on charges of disobeying police and/or military officer. 

Sadigov is known for his criticism of the government in his social media posts and statements. Ahead of this recent arrest, Sadigov reportedly shared a story about rape which was refuted by the Prosecutor General.