Participants of a protest action in support of "Nida" activists in front of the court building. Baku, May 1, 2014. Photo by Aziz Karimov for the "Caucasian Knot"

01 May 2014, 14:55

Criminal proceedings against "Nida" activists are politically motivated, Rashadat Akhundov states in his final speech at trial in Baku

On Thursday, in Azerbaijan, at the trial against activists of the movement "Nida", the defendants have delivered their final speeches. Rashadat Akhundov spoke on behalf of all the defendants, and he claimed the criminal case had been politically motivated.

The trial took place in the atmosphere of enhanced security measures around the court building. Meanwhile, about 200 oppositionists and public activists held a rally in support of the defendants, who were on the fifteenth day of their hunger strike.

According to Rashadat Akhundov, the political decision in the case was made, when last summer, Ilham Aliev accused the young activists that "their method of fighting were not words, thoughts, but 'Molotov cocktails' (the case in hand is the speech delivered by President Ilham Aliev on June 7, 2013, at the congress of the ruling party "Yeni Azerbaijan", – note of the "Caucasian Knot")."

Rashadat Akhundov said he did not want to go into the details of the criminal case, "since earlier, the advocates had already proven the innocence of the accused activists." According to Rashadat Akhundov, the true reason for the arrest of the defendants was their civic activities, which frightened the power.

Let us remind you that the human rights organization "Amnesty International" (AI) has recognized the accused activists as "prisoners of conscience." The human rights organization "Human Rights Watch" (HRW) has also expressed its concern over the detention of the activists and the charges filed against them.

Author: Faik Medzhid, Parvana Bayramova; Source: CK correspondents

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