Monday, November 15, 2021

Azeri court sentences government opposition figure to 10 years for ‘hooliganism’

From Caucasian Knot

A Baku court has found Agil Gumbatov, a member of the oppositional Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA), guilty of hooliganism and sentenced him to 10 years of freedom deprivation.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on November 11, at the Baku Grave Crimes Court, the prosecutor demanded to sentence Agil Gumbatov, a PFPA member, to 10 years in prison.

Agil Gumbatov was detained on August 11 and accused of stabbing a resident of the dwelling settlement of Zira located near Baku. His advocate complained to the prosecutor's office that his client had signed his confession after beatings. Later, Gumbatov refused from his testimonies, claiming that he had given them under torture. Human rights defenders recognized him as a political prisoner.

"Gumbatov himself stated that he was prosecuted for political reasons because of his criticism of Azerbaijani leadership," Nemat Kerimli, his advocate, has noted.

The court imposed the same punishment as demanded by the prosecutor, and this "does not often happen in Azerbaijan's practice," the advocate has added. "Usually judges award 1-2 years less than demanded by the state prosecutor. This is also an evidence of bias towards Gumbatov," Mr Kerimli has concluded.

Let us remind you that Gumbatov had stated at trial that a provocation was staged against him. According to his version, he was engaged in collecting garbage on his motorcycle, and arrived at the victim's yard at the latter's call to pick up his garbage, but the man started shouting that Gumbatov had hit him with some piercing object, “and an ambulance and the police immediately appeared." His defence believes that doctors and policemen had been invited in advance to be closer to Mamedov's yard."


© Кавказский Узел

Gumbatov was released from a psychiatric hospital on July 1, 2020. “He was forcibly placed there on 2 April after he criticized the authorities’ handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.” – Amnesty International statement, July 13, 2020.

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