New criminal case launched against Taleh Baghirzadeh

Defense lawyer: "As far as I know, official charges have not yet been filed against him"

A new criminal case has been opened against jailed theologian Taleh Baghirzadeh, Meydan TV learnt from the theologian's loved ones. They are saying that Baghirzadeh is accused under Article 317.1 of the Criminal Code (illegal circulation of banned items in prisons).

The theologian's loved ones are saying that the charges claim that a bladed/pointed article was found on him, but that is a lie.

Bagirzade's defense lawyer Javad Javadli says he does not have detailed information about it:

"I, too, have heard about it from here and there. I will meet with him soon and learn how things are. As far as I know, official charges have not yet been filed against him."

Taleh Baghirzadeh's loved ones are saying that he was searched at the Gobustan high-security prison on the day he was brought there. Flash memory cards with religious music on them were found on the theologian. Those cards were sent for an expert examination. The expert examination reported that it had found no illegal material on the cards. Despite this, a criminal case was launched against Taleh Baghirzadeh.

The theologian's loved ones are saying that he commented on the new criminal case opened against him in a telephone conversation with his family today. He said they had sought to launch a new criminal case against him at any cost and they did so by way of describing the memory cards as bladed/pointed articles in order to libel him again:

"They continue to libel me at the end of the year of Islamic unity, just like they libeled and imprisoned me at the beginning of the year."

Taleh Baghirzadeh was arrested in a police operation conducted in Nardaran on 26 November 2015, in which six people were killed. The Baku Court for Serious Crimes later sentenced the theologian to 20 years in prison. Baghirzadeh says he had suffered terrible torture at the Interior Ministry's Main Department to Combat Organized Crime.

Taleh Baghirzadeh denies the charges brought against him. He says that the six people who died in the operation, including two police officers, were actually killed by those who conducted the operation, that none of the religious people detained possessed weapons, and that police assaulted them when they were praying.

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