New charge brought against journalist Afgan Sadigov three months before his release

Afgan Sadigov

Afgan Sadigov

This article was originally published by Caucasian Knot

Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Sadigov, convicted on charges of assaulting a woman in the reception room at the office of the head of the Jalilabad District, faces a new charge three months before the end of his prison term.

Caucasian Knot previously reported that Afgan Sadigov, the founder and editor of the socio-political website, was accused of attacking a woman. According to investigators, the attack took place in a reception room at the office of the head for the Jalilabad District. Relatives of the journalist treated his prosecution a punishment for criticizing the district authorities. On 12 January, the court sentenced Afgan Sadygov to 2.5 years in prison.

Sevinj Sadigova, Afgan's wife, told Caucasian Knot that on 13 January her husband called home.

"He said that he was transferred from the prison colony to the Kurdakhan pre-trial detention center; and they told him that a new accusation was brought against him. We are shocked, because only three months remained until his release. They probably don't want to set him free at all," Sevinj Sadigova said.

Elchin Sadigov, Afgan's defense lawyer, told Caucasian Knot that they had "renewed" the case against his client, initiated by the head of the Jalilabad District.

"Early last year, the executive head of the Jalilabad District filed a lawsuit to the local court against Afgan Sadigov under Article 147.2 (libel on committing a grave crime) of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan. Then, the judge postponed the hearing indefinitely. It was silent for a year; and now they decided to revive it. The filing of a lawsuit under this article contradicts the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) and the precedent decisions of the European Court of Human Rights. A journalist should not be imprisoned for their publications," lawyer Elchin Sadigov said.

Afgan Sadigov is included in the list of 167 political prisoners released on 27 January, 2017, by the Centre for the Protection of Political Prisoners.

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