Charges have been
against Alikram Khurshudov, head of the Shirvan branch of the opposition Musavat Party, following the completion of a police investigation. He now faces up to seven years in prison instead of five. The charge of hooliganism towards a state representative (article 221.2.2 of the criminal code) has been upgraded to violently resisting a state representative (article 315.2).
Alikram Khurshudov was
on the evening of 22 November in the town of Shirvan. Elman Fattah, deputy chairman of the Musavat party, said that the police detention resembled a kidnapping. He believes that Khurshudov is being “persecuted for his political activities and strongly critical posts on Facebook”. “Just a few days ago he wrote that members of staff at state institutions in Shirvan were forcibly enrolled in the governing New Azerbaijan Party,” Fattah said.
Khurshudov told his defense lawyer that he was doing remodeling work in a private apartment on 22 November. In the evening, the owner of the apartment arrived and accused Khurshudov of “harassing” members of his family. A conflict broke out, after which two more people appeared and exerted physical pressure on Khurshudov. Then, a police officer arrived and accused Khurshudov of offering resistance and injuring him and took Khurshudov to a police department.
Khurshudov confirms that he had an argument with the owner of the apartment, but he did not injure the police officer, nor did he beat the apartment owner. He also rejects allegations of harassing members of the family of the apartment owner.
On 24 November, the Shirvan town court ruled to arrest Alikram Khurshudov for a period of three months.
The Musavat party believes that Khurshudov was arrested for criticizing the authorities on social networking websites.