Arrests continue: Zahidov’s nephew detained for drug possession

Rufat Zahidov, a nephew of Azadlig editor Ganimat Zahidov, was arrested in Baku – the latest in a chain of arrests against the opposition journalist’s family. Zahidov currently resides in Paris, while his family continues to live in Baku.


On Monday (July 20, 2015) evening Rufat Zahidov, a nephew of Azadlig editor

Ganimat Zahidov

, was arrested in Baku,


news agency reported. He was taken into custody for drug possession. According to his father, the police apprehended him directly from the workplace in the Yasamal district of Baku.

Later on the same day, a lawsuit was filed against Rufat under Article 234.4.1 (illegal possession of drugs). He faces up to 12 years in prison. Currently Rufat is incarcerated in the Sabail Police Department of Baku. Farasat Zahidov, father of the arrested, told

Turan news agency

that  the police claimed they had found 5 grams of heroin in his son’s car.

Earlier this week, Rovshan Zahidov, Ganimat Zahidov’s cousin, was arrested in Shamakhi. The court sentenced him to 25 days in administrative detention.

On July 18, 2015, the Baku police arrested Ganimat’s nephew Tural Zahidov. He was sentenced to 30 days in administrative detention on charges of disobeying the police, the Azadlig editor wrote on his



Ganimat believes that his family has been persecuted because he continued his unabashed criticism of the Azerbaijani authorities in both articles and television appearances. “Not being able to get to me, they’re trying to blackmail me, arresting my relatives,” Zahidov wrote.

On March 7, 2008, Zahidov was sentenced to four years in prison on charges of causing bodily harm and disorderly conduct. On March 17, 2010, the journalist was pardoned by President Ilham Aliyev. Zahidov lives in political exile in France, while his relatives still reside in Azerbaijan.

Ana səhifəNewsArrests continue: Zahidov’s nephew detained for drug possession