Ogtai Gyulyalyev. Photo: Turkhan Kerimov (RFE/RL)

22 October 2018, 22:49

Re-arrest of political prisoner marks new trend of repression in Azerbaijan

Religious activist Telman Shiraliev was arrested on the charge of possessing prohibited items in a penal colony while preparing for release from prison. Filing new charges against political prisoners at the end of their imprisonment sentences is a new trend in prosecution of activists in Azerbaijan, report rights defenders.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on April 22, 2013, Telman Shiraliev was sentenced to 6 years of imprisonment in the case against believers who on October 5, 2012, in Baku, held a protest action against the ban on wearing hijabs in schools.

In late September, Telman Shiraliev was accused of illegal possession of prohibited items in the penal colony, reports today Ogtai Gyulyalyev, the chair of the Alliance "Azerbaijan without Political Prisoners".

According to him, the sentence of Telman Shiraliev was to expire on October 5, and a week earlier, on September 29, the court pronounced against him the pre-trial restriction measure in the form of arrest for a period of two months. Ogtai Gyulyalyev has also added that Telman Shiraliev faces up to 6 months of imprisonment under the new charge.

Recently, a dangerous tendency has appeared in Azerbaijan: when terms of sentences for political prisoners are about to expire, new charges are brought against them, Ogtai Gyulyalyev notes.

Elshan Gasanov, the head of the Centre for Monitoring Political Prisoners, has also expressed his concern over the new charges brought against activists after their sentences expire.

"This is a very unpleasant trend. New charges are brought against Mamed Ibragim and Telman Shiraliev. The same threatened blogger Mekhman Guseinov. People are not only imprisoned on fabricated charges, but they are also not allowed to leave prisons at the end of their terms," the "Caucasian Knot" was correspondent told by Elshan Gasanov. He has also noted that in the country, the number of political prisoners is usually more than 100 people.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on October 22, 2018 at 05:33 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Faik Medzhid; Source: CK correspondent

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