Opposition youth activist sentenced to 6 years

Orkhan Bakhishli is the latest activist to be convicted on charges of drug possession

Orkhan Bakhishli’s parents
Orkhan Bakhishli’s parents

On 18 September, the Baku Court for Serious Crimes sentenced a member of the youth committee of the opposition Popular Front of Azerbaijan Party (PFAP), Orkhan Bakhishli, to six years in prison.

Bakhishli was


by men in plain clothes in downtown Baku on the evening of 7 May. On 10 May, the Yasamal District Court in Baku charged the youth activist with drug possession and ordered his detention for four months.

The PFAP has claimed that the charges against Bakhishli are trumped up and politically motivated. Several days before his arrest, on 3 May at a World Press Freedom Day event at the grave of journalist

Elmar Huseynov

, who was shot and killed in 2005, Bakhishli accused the Azerbaijani government of Huseynov’s murder.

Human rights activists consider Bakhishli a political prisoner. Previously, he served 30 days of administrative detention after being arrested ahead of a 31 March opposition rally.

In recent years, activists

Ahsan Nuruzadeh


Murad Adilov


Bayram Mammadov


Giyas Ibrahimov


Elgiz Gahramanov

, blogger

Rashad Ramazanov

and others have also been jailed on charges of drug possession.

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