Ongoing judicial harassment of human rights defender Bahtyar Mamedov; court hearing today in Azerbaijan

February 14, 2013

Frontline NEWlogos-1 condensed version - cropped

reports that a new hearing on the case of human rights defender  Bahtyar Mamedov is scheduled to start on 14 February 2013 at the Court of Grave Crimes in Baku. The human rights defender has been detained since 30 December 2011 on charges of “swindle” and “extortion accompanied by violence”. The trial under the charges of swindle has been ongoing since April 2012, despite a reported lack of evidence to support the case.

Bahtyar Mamedov is a defender of property rights and the legal representative of Baku inhabitants whose houses have been demolished. Bahtyar Mamedov subsequently discovered fraud with money due to be paid as compensation, allegedly involving a military unit commander, Shahin Sultanov. Bahtyar Mamedov was then accused himself of an alleged attempt on his part to extort money from Shahin Sultanov, which he strongly denies. During the initial three-month period ordered by the Court of Grave Crimes to investigate the charges of “extortion accompanied by violence”, no evidence was found to support the charges, yet the case was not closed.  The prosecution subsequently opened a second case against Bahtyar Mamedov on charges of fraud. Until 5 November 2012, Shahin Sultanov, the alleged victim of the fraud, had not been questioned by the investigative team and did not respond to the summons to appear before the court. On 15 October 2012, he sent a declaration stating that he did not know Bahtyar Mamedov and that he had lodged a complaint against him according to information received from third persons, and that he has nothing against Bahtyar Mamedov.

Front Line Defenders issued an urgent appeal and an update on the continued judicial harassment faced by Bahtyar Mamedov on  26 October 2012 <http://www.frontlinedefenders.org/node/20381>  and 12 November 2012 <https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/node/20745> respectively.

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