Azerbaijani authorities’ birthday gift to Rauf Mirkadirov

On July 15, Nasimi District Court in Baku extended veteran journalist Rauf Mirkadirov’s arrest to an additional four months. Mirkadirov’s lawyer Elmar Suleymanov said the Attorney General made the decision during the court hearing. This was necessary said Attorney General as further investigation into the case is required.

Mirkadirov was briefly released in May to attend his father’s funeral. He did not escape and remained in the country. However, there is an assumption expressed by the Attorney General that the journalist might escape if set temporary free whilst the on-going investigation. Mirkadirov dismissed the assumptions during the hearing, adding that not only he did not escape during the short period of his release but that he is concerned of his mother’s health and has no intention of leaving.

The court rejected any of these arguments. Defense appealed the decision to extend the detention period. Ironically, this decision was made on Rauf Mirkadirov’s 53



* Columnist at a local paper Ayna/Zerkalo [Mirror], Rauf Mirkadyrov, was deported from Turkey on April 19 to Azerbaijan where he was immediately detained at Baku airport and accused of espionage. On April 21 court arrested him for three months. Journalist denies any of the accusations, considering them absurd and politically motivated.


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