29 August 2019, 11:27
Court leaves Azerbaijani journalist, Ikram Ragimov, in custody
A court in Baku has dismissed the motion of the defence to change the freedom restriction measure of Ikram Ragimov, a journalist, whose health condition has worsened because of his hunger strike. The court has also refused to re-investigate his case, while Ragimov has stated that he will continue his hunger strike.
On June 12, a court in Baku found Ikram Ragimov, the editor-in-chief of the "Realliq.info" website, guilty of extortion, and sentenced him to 5.5 years in prison. On August 7, he went on a hunger strike, demanding an objective review of his appeal.
The State Security Service (SSS) of Azerbaijan declared that Ragimov's blackmail case was opened on numerous complaints. The journalist himself claims that security services began persecuting him after he posted an open letter criticizing Ali Gasanov, the assistant to the Azerbaijani president on socio-political matters.
Ragimov looked very thin and pale, and treated his health condition as "critical," the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent reports.
Elchin Sadygov, an advocate, petitioned about Ragimov's transfer to house arrest, but the court has rejected the petition.
"Either justice is restored in my relation, or I die and fall victim to the struggle for the freedom of the press in Azerbaijan," Mr Ragimov has stated.
The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has called on Azerbaijani authorities to free Ragimov.
Author: Faik Medjid; Source: CK correspondent