03 July 2017, 12:27
Theologian Sardar Babaev sentenced to three years of imprisonment in Azerbaijan
In Azerbaijan, the court has sentenced Shiite theologian Sardar Babaev, accused of violating the requirements for conducting of religious ceremonies. The defence intends to challenge the verdict.
The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on February 22, Sardar Babaev, also known as Gadjigasanli, a member of the public association "Spiritual Figures of Azerbaijan", the editor-in-chief of the website "Maide.az", was arrested.
According to law enforcers, Sardar Babaev illegally preached and led Friday prayers at the Masally mosque, since it is forbidden to a person who got religious education abroad, and Sardar Babaev was educated in Iran. Javad Javadov, an advocate of Sardar Babaev, believes that the article under which the theologian is prosecuted contradicts Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees freedom of conscience and religion.
Today, at a hearing of the City District Court in Masally located in the south of Azerbaijan, Sardar Babaev has again declared his innocence.
"Sardar Babaev has said that in Azerbaijan, there were no religious education for decades, and most of the current religious figures of the middle and older generation studied abroad," said Javad Javadov.
Ogtai Gyulyalyev, the leader of the public alliance "Azerbaijan without Political Prisoners", sees the true reason for the criminal prosecution against Sardar Babaev in his popularity among believers.
Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.
Author: Faik Medzhid; Source: CK correspondent