Rally in support of Mekhman Guseinov, Baku, January 3, 2019. Screenshot from MeydanTV video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkvK-QmgNZo&t=843s

04 January 2019, 22:03

Mekhman Guseinov's supporters arrested and fined

Today, a court in Baku has found eight participants of the action in support of the blogger Mekhman Guseinov to be infringers of the rules of holding meetings. The activists themselves disagree with the judgement.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that yesterday, on January 3, in Baku, law enforcers detained 15 participants of the action in support of Mekhman Guseinov. Later, 10 detainees were released from the police, and three journalists and two members of the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA) were detained pending trial.

On December 26, the blogger Mekhman Guseinov announced a dry hunger strike in an Azerbaijani colony after he was made a figurant of a new criminal case initiated against him two months before the end of his prison term. On December 30, Guseinov, after being transferred to the SIZO (pre-trial prison), began drinking water.

Today, the Nizami District Court of Baku has considered the cases of the five activists, who were kept in custody, as well as of the three women released yesterday, Zafar Akhmedov, a member of the Centre for the Protection of Political Prisoners, told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

"The court has fined four activists by the amounts ranging from 180 to 240 US dollars," said Mr Akhmedov. The journalist Afghan Sadygov was arrested for 22 days. Nurlan Gakhramanov, another journalist, and two PFPA members, Elimkhan Agaev and Sakhavat Nabiev, received 21 days of arrest each. All the participants of the action were found guilty under Article 413.2 (violation of the rules of holding meetings) of the Code of Administrative Offenses of Azerbaijan, said the human rights defender.

Matanat Makhmurzaeva, a PFPA activist, has expressed outrage at the court judgement. "I just used my constitutional right to protest peacefully against injustice in relation to Mekhman Guseinov. He kept his hunger strike for 7-8 days – why should we stay indifferent?" she told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

She has added that she has refused to plead guilty. "I refused to sign the administrative protocol at the police because I don't feel myself guilty," Ms Makhmurzaeva has stated.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on January 4, 2019 at 03:59 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Faik Medzhid; Source: CK correspondent

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