Four more prisoners from Nardaran released

New releases come just three days after 14 other Muslim Unity members granted early release

On 14 September, four people who were convicted after the Nardaran events of 2015 were released from prison. Just three days earlier, on 11 September, 14 other Nardaran prisoners had been released.

Vidadi Alkhasov, Huseyn Nabizadeh, Urfan Nabizadeh and Vasif Aliyev were released early from prisons Nos. 16 and 17 on the orders of the Sabunchu district court. The prisoners were released under a 10 February 2017 decree issued by President Ilham Aliyev, titled “On improving penitentiary work, making punitive policy more humanitarian, and expanding the application of alternative penalties and procedural compulsory measures that do not involve isolation from society.”

During a police raid conducted in Nardaran on 26 November 2015, two police officers and four villagers were killed and several people were injured. Taleh Baghirzadeh, the chairman of the Muslim Unity movement, and several others were detained during the operation. They were charged with an attempted coup, possession of weapons, and other crimes. However, the defendants said the charges were trumped up. Baghirzadeh had been arrested several times before. He is known for his harsh criticism of the government. He says that was the reason for his arrest. A court sentenced him to 20 years in prison, but he was released on 11 September with 13 other prisoners.

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