Meydan TV under criminal investigation

Azerbaijani authorities launched a criminal investigation into Meydan TV for alleged illegal practice and profit-making in an especially large amount, large-scale tax evasion and abuse of power resulting in falsification of elections and/or referendum results, lawyer Elchin Sadigov said.

The case against Meydan TV’s executives was filed by the General Prosecutor Office of Grave Crimes Investigation Department.

Meanwhile, journalist Shirin Abbasov filed a complaint against the Ministry of Internal Affair’s Main Organized Crime Department (MOCD) on April 18 for an unlawful travel ban, a month-long detention at the MOCD, inhumane treatment, torture and behavior to degrade human dignity, illegal search of his apartment and confiscation of his belongings.

Sadigov stated that neither the MOCD representatives nor the prosecutor showed up at the hearing. Abbasov’s case was transferred from the Narimanov District Court to the Nasimi District Court.

“The judge explained his decision by claiming that regardless of who was behind those actions, the investigation is undertaken by the General Prosecutor Office of Grave Crimes Investigation Department, and they are located in the Nasimi District Court’s territory. Therefore, Shirin Abbasov’s appeal should be looked into at the Nasimi District Court.”

Abbasov, who has collaborated with Meydan TV, was arrested last September and sentenced to administrative detention for disobeying the police. He had spent nearly 30 hours in custody at MOCD before being sentenced. Human rights groups condemned Abbasov’s arrest as politically motivated in connection with Meydan TV. Last June, Abbasov was one of four Meydan TV journalists denied exit from Azerbaijan and told they were on a government “blacklist,” although the government backtracked and attributed the incident to an administrative mixup.

 

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