Opposition condemns Fuad Qehremanli’s arrest

Meydan TV obtained a copy of a statement from the National Council of the Democratic Forces of Azerbaijan, condemning Popular Front Party chairman Fuad Qehremanli’s arrest and accusing the government of implicating Qehremanli with the events in Nardaran.

Deputy Chairman of the Azerbaijan Popular Front Party Fuad Qehremanli was sentenced to three months in prison last week on charges of inciting national and religious hatred and public calls against the state. His lawyer Fahreddin Mekhtiyev said this Monday that the defense would request house arrest,



On December 8, Qehremanli was arrested in his apartment and taken to the Investigation Department on Grave Crimes of the General Prosecutor’s Office. He was subsequently transferred to the Nasimi district court, where Qehremanli was charged with public calls against the state and incitement of national, racial and religious hatred. According to the prosecutor, starting from September Qehremanli has made repeated calls via Facebook for “disobedience of state authorities, and made actions, inciting hatred among various religious currents in Islam.”

The statement further accused Qehremanli of instigating Nardarana citizens to religious extremism.

The Azerbaijani opposition views Qehremanli’s arrest as the latest act of large-scale repression in the country.


described the move as “government intolerance toward freedom of expression and continuation of wide-scale repressions in Azerbaijan.”

Meydan TV obtained a statement from the National Council of the Democratic Forces of Azerbaijan condemning Qehremanli’s arrest. The full statement is provided below:

Statement of the National Council of the Democratic Forces of Azerbaijan regarding the arrest and detention of the deputy leader of the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan.

Deputy leader of the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA) Fuad Qehremanli has been arrested and charged contrary to articles 281.1 ( public appeals directed against the state) and 283.2.1 ( inciting national, racial, social or religious hatred, and doing so with the threat of use of force ) of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan. Mr.Qehremanli has been detained for three months pending trial.

It can be clearly inferred from the information disseminated from the official sources, that the government intends to implicate Fuad Qehremanli, and consequently PFPA and also National Council of the Democratic forces with the events that took place in Nardaran, and to create a false impression that aforementioned person and organizations are condoning criminal activities in Nardaran.

National Council is decisively declaring that charges brought against Fuad Qehremanli are fake and that his arrest and pre-trial detention is a direct result of his political activity and scathing criticisms of the government. Fuad Qehremanli has not broken any laws with any of his actions or public statements and media appearances. In spite of baseless prosecution claims, Fuad Qehremanli in both written and oral statements, has only called upon citizens to defend their constitutional rights and liberties within peaceful and lawful means. With his consistent political activity Fuad Qehremanli has been a role model for such genuine civic activism within the boundaries of law.

It was clear for some time now, that Government has been targeting Fuad Qehremanli as one of the main individuals within PFPA. As his family has now stated, Mr.Qehremanli has been receiving threats and warnings that he will be punished for his political activity.

Following special police operations in Nardaran, the government is also attacking PFPA and National Council in its campaigns. The government is trying to falsely add a political dimension to the failed special operations in Nardaran which resulted in seven deaths (including two police officers). The government is staging a show in which it is trying to create an impression that the political opposition supported the illegal attempt of anti-government coup. Government’s attempts to implicate Fuad Qehremanli, PFPA and National Council with the events in Nardaran is an unprecedented absurdity. According to the official claims, government has conducted special police operation , directed against those who wanted to create a sharia state in Nardaran. As an individual and politician Fuad Qehremanli, and as organizations both PFPA and National Council have always advocated for a secular and democratic state . These principles were also advocated to the religious segments of our society, in hope of persuading those of religious beliefs to respect and adhere to these democratic values. In addition to the aforementioned however, Fuad Qehremanli and PFPA and National Council have also defended the broken rights of those with religious beliefs, and this clearly caused concern in the government.

Fuad Qehremanli has been arrested and detained pending trial due to the personal views and political thoughts expressed in his writings. This in turn makes him a prisoner of conscience. As a result, National Council regards Fuad Qehremanli as a prisoner of conscience and demands his release from detention.

National Council declares that, Fuad Qehremanli’s arrest and detention is a continuation of political repressions in the country, and is an attempt to cause yet another blow to the National Council, PFPA and to the democratic forces in general. This arrest is yet another example of Government treating PFPA like an enemy and not like a political opposition that it is. To this day, government has jailed hundreds of activists of PFPA. Currently, with Fuad Qehremanli’s arrest ten members of PFPA including four members of the executive office are in jail. The Government’s enemy –like treatment of PFPA has been going on for some time now. The Government has repeatedly denied PFPA the right to possess a political headquarters. In 2011 the office doors of PFPA were welded shut and to this day PFPA has been denied access to the premises. Two years later in 2013 another office and headquarter of PFPA was completely destroyed following an explosion. The government has refused to grant Ali Karimli his passport for ten years now. This refusal is still ongoing in spite of the recent Europen Court of Human Right’s decision ordering the grant of the passport. Further to these, just last month The Ministry of Justice has refused to add PFPA to the official register of political parties, and did so in the total absence of any legal basis.

National Council call the government to come to the correct conclusions from the national and international developments and trends , to halt the enemy-like treatment of political opposition, and to abandon the intention to misdirect public attention with fake shows of anti-government attempts of coup. National Council warns that the only viable solution to preventing potential chaos resulting from the worsening social-economic conditions and/or escalation of geopolitical risks surrounding Azerbaijan, is to create relationship with the society based on trust and commence on long-overdue democratic reforms. The responsibility of implementing these reforms lies with the government. The continuation of the current policies, unfortunately promise only dark prospects to our nation and country. The government must also realize that such prospects could also lead to the dreary end of the current government.

National council once again demands the end to the repressions directed against political opposition and civic society. National Council demands prompt release of Fuad Qehremanli and other political prisoners and demands that charges brought against Fuad Qehremanli be dropped.

Ana səhifəNewsOpposition condemns Fuad Qehremanli’s arrest