Political activist sentenced to ten years in jail

Member of a political opposition party Agil Humbatov was sentenced to ten years in jail after criticizing the president on Facebook. In a court ruling on November 15, Humbatov was charged with Article 126.2.4 of the Criminal Code – intentionally causing harm with an intent to commit hooliganism. The prosecutor alleged Humbatov, stabbed a man. According to Turan News Agency, the prosecutor said Humbatov stabbed Yaman Mammadov. 

Humbatov was detained on August 11 this year.

In his defense, the political activist, who is a member of Popular Front, said charges against him were bogus. The real reason behind his sentence was his social media posts and videos in which the activist was critical of the government, namely President Ilham Aliyev. 

In his most recent video, Humbatov complained of lack of employment opportunities and that with three children and lack of local government support, he had no other choice but to collect cardboard from waste. 

Previously, Humbatov was confined to treatment at a psychiatric clinic over his criticisms against the authorities online. He was also detained in March 2019 and sentenced to 30 days in administrative detention.

member of opposition party sentenced to 30 days [Update April 5, 2022]

[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. 

political activist detained over social media post

June 27, member of an opposition party Popular Front, Faig Rashidov was sentenced to ten days in administrative detention on charges of violating the Code of Administrative Offenses Article 388.1 (placing online or on information/communication networks information otherwise banned).  

Rashidov was previously subject to pressure for his activism and political views.

Popular Front members have been regularly persecuted in recent months. Currently, at least 10 party members are behind bars. All are accused of various crimes, none however are legitimate, claim the party headquarters.