Supreme Court upheld verdict on editor of website

Azerbaijan’s Supreme Court dismissed the appeal of the editor of the religious online edition, Araz Guliyev, and left him in prison.

The editor and 7 other people were arrested in September 2012 after they protested against the performance of “immoral” behavior by “topless” dancers in a disco in Masalli.

Guliyev was convicted on several articles of the Criminal Code: 228.1 (carrying, storage and transportation of firearms), 233 (organization and participation in activities that disrupt public order), 283.1 (inciting national and religious hatred), 315.2 (resistance to authority) and 324 (offensive action against the flag and emblem of Azerbaijan).

He was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment. Other defendants received prison terms of 3 to 8 years. Subsequently the Shirvan Court of Appeal upheld the verdict.

Guliyev and another convict (for 5 years) Suraj Agayev filed an appeal.

As the lawyer Fariz Namazly noted in an interview with Turan, the editor was convicted on fabricated charges. He did not participate in the protest, but only illuminated it. In fact, Guliyev is punished for criticizing local authorities on his website.

Before his arrest, Guliyev was repeatedly summoned to the local police department and MNS and threatened with arrest if he did not stop criticism. The lawyer noted that all the charges were fabricated and now he intends to apply to the European Court of Human Rights.

The names of all the people convicted on the case have been included in the list of 81 political prisoners maintained by a coalition of 11 NGOs and submitted to the Council of Europe.

The website is now called

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