A Shiite theologian Talekh Bagirzade. Photo http://www.haqqyolu.com/ru/portal/363/

13 August 2014, 22:32

In Azerbaijan, theologian Talekh Bagirzade sentenced under new charge

In Azerbaijan, a Shiite theologian Talekh Bagirzade, who is serving his two-year imprisonment on earlier charge, has been sentenced on new charge of possessing prohibited items in the SIZO (pre-trial prison). The term of imprisonment of Talekh Bagirzade has been extended for four months. The defence believes the verdict was politically motivated.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that the theologian Talekh Bagirzade, who criticized the Azerbaijani authorities in his sermons, was detained on March 31, 2013. According to investigators, law enforcers found drugs during his detention.

Mirgasym Aliev, the head of the Committee to protect Talekh Bagirzade's rights, has clarified that the use of mobile phones by prisoners is a common practice in penitentiary institutions and detention centres. However, only Talekh Bagirzade was brought to criminal liability. According to Mirgasym Aliev, the Penitentiary Service could have limited the punishment to the disciplinary action.

It should be added that earlier, Talekh Bagirzade had been brought by the Azerbaijani authorities to criminal liability. On May 6, 2011, he was arrested for taking part in the campaign against the ban on wearing hijab in schools by schoolgirls. Later, he was sentenced to 1.5 years of imprisonment on charges of disorderly conduct and rendering resistance to police.

Author: Faik Medzhid Source: CK correspondent

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