Friday Wrap-up: Lawyer repression and a minister swap-out
The week of 25-29 January saw the appointment of a new minister, and international demonstrations by lawyers for Azerbaijani lawyers, which the Azerbaijani Bar Association rejected -- or did they? The head of mine cleaning unit was seriously injured by a mine, and imprisoned journalist Afgan Sadigov had his sentence modified.
A new Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies
Former Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies Ramin Guluzade has been relieved of his post by a decree signed by President Ilham Aliyev on January 26. By another presidential order, Rashad Nabiyev was was then relieved of his post as chairman of Azercosmos and appointed Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies.
Lawyers demonstrate for Azerbaijani lawyers on Day of the Endangered Lawyer
In 2021, for the first time, a call was made in different countries of the world for lawyers facing pressure in Azerbaijan. A statement signed by the Izmir Lawyers' Office, the Contemporary Lawyers Association and the Free Lawyers Association was issued on January 23. The statement called for the protection of Azerbaijani lawyers and said that all government agencies and bar associations should take steps to protect lawyers from threats, harassment and other illegal interference.T he Azerbaijani Bar Association head Anar Baghirov refuted the claim that Azerbaijani lawyers were under any threat, and published a statement signed by many laywers that the claims were unfounded. Our sources say, however, that many lawyers were pressured into signing it. Baghirov disputed this as well.
Head of mine cleaning unit hit by mine
On 29 January, Elmaddin Mirzayev, head of Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA)'s Cleaning Group, was hit by a mine in the Aghdam region. As a result, Elmaddin Mirzayev's left foot had to be amputated. He is currently in the hospital in Aghdam, and his condition is serious, but stable.
Journalist Sadigov's condition deteriorates as his sentence is revised
Imprisoned journalist Afgan Sadigov has had his sentence revised from 7 to 6 years in prison this week. He himself did not attend the hearing as he is currently on a hunger strike he says is in protest of his wrongful imprisonment. Sadigov was found guilty under Article 182 (extortion) of the Criminal Code and sentenced to 7 years in prison by the Baku Court of Grave Crimes. Sadigov's lawyer Elchin Sadigov also expressed dissatisfaction with the decision and said they would appeal to the Supreme Court. This article has been edited on the 4th of April 2021 due to spelling errors.
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