On July 22nd, Baku Court on Grave Crimes opened hearings against Taleh Baghirov, several of his supporters and Azerbaijani National Front Party (ANFP) deputy chairman, Fuad Qahramanli, who were arrested during the events of Nardaran in 2015.
On November 26th of 2015, supporters of the “Muslim Unity Movement” clashed with police when the latter stormed a Shi’a commemoration ceremony, during which five civilians were killed in addition to two police personnel,
reported the Caucasian Knot
Fourteen other individuals were also detained in the police operation whose aims were not publicly stated at the time. Amongst those arrested was leader of Muslim Unity Movement, Taleh Baghirov.
After the immediate clashes, electricity and water sources to the town were cut off. Utility companies attributed the outages to the outstanding debts of residents. The village was also cordoned off by the police.
Protests and unrest continued for three days until village elders requested that the people return to their homes.
The Caucasian Knot related that the MIA and Attorney General of Azerbaijan later stated that: “an armed, criminal organization, acting under the guise of a religious group, was preparing to take action to destabilize the socio-political situation and promote mass protests and terrorist attacks.”
Taleh Baghirov and his supporters have been charged with homicide (Article 120), unlawful possession of a firearm (228.4) and unlawful concealment of a weapon (228.4) in addition to other accusations. If convicted, he faces a possible sentence of 12 – 15 years.
The trial hearing was not open to the public. Few journalists or family members of the accused were allowed into the court room. The judge cited a lack of seating, however, a relative of one of the accused who was present at the trial reported that there were plenty of empty seats available.
At the hearing, a handbook allegedly written by Taleh Baghirov was presented as evidence. Baghirov denied its authenticity. His lawyer, Fariz Namazli, attributed the following statement to Baghirov at the trial:
“We have been charged with 23 accusations, all of which are based off this ‘handbook’ which they ‘found’ in the houses of all those who were arrested in the aftermath of the events of the 26th of November. But this is all trickery. The handbook attributes many things to me that I have never said, such as: “Taleh Baghirzade says, ‘stand against thief Ilham Aliyev!’” This book has been prepared either by the State Security Service, or by the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Or, perhaps, even by the President’s Office.”
The next court hearing is scheduled for the 3rd of August.