12 February 2021, 15:24
Case of Mamed Ibragim's son reveals persecution practice of activists' relatives in Azerbaijan
Mekhti Ibragimov, a son of Mamed Ibragim, a member of the Presidium of the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA), convicted to conditional imprisonment for coronavirus spread, is being persecuted because of his father's political activities, human rights defenders assert, noting that the practice, when relatives suffer because of activists' viewpoints, is widespread in Azerbaijan.
The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that in July 2020, Mekhti Ibragimov was arrested on charges of spreading coronavirus after a protest action in Baku. Ibragimov went on a hunger strike demanding his release. In August, the court agreed to transfer him under house arrest.
According to the Azerbaijani Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), in 2020, a total of 689 COVID-19 patients were detained because of quarantine violations; 46 of them were criminally prosecuted.
The case against Mekhti Ibragimov had political context, said Anar Mamedli, the head of the Centre for Monitoring Elections and Democracy Training (CMEDT). "Mekhti Ibragimov's father, Mamed Ibragim, is one of the prominent figures of the oppositional PFPA, a former political prisoner. The young man was detained on July 15, after the action in support of the Azerbaijani Army," Mr Mamedli has stated, adding that it was not the first time that Azerbaijani citizens suffer because of political viewpoints of their relatives. Thus, a nephew and a cousin of the oppositional journalist, Ganimat Zakhid, were convicted, as well as brothers of the journalist, Gyunel Movlud, a brother-in-law of Emin Milli Nazim Agabekov, the founder of the "Meydan.TV", and Murad Adilov, a brother of the head of the PFPA's press service, Natig Gyulakhmedoglu (Adilov). Emin Sagiev, a brother-in-law of the oppositional journalist, Tyurkel Azertyurk, is still in prison.