Head of the Department on Social and Political Issues Ali Hasanov has stated that blogger Mehman Huseynov’s arrest has been ‘artificially politicized’ and linked to his profession.
“This issue has been artificially politicized by international organizations that are under the influence of certain domestic and foreign political groups”, Hasanov was quoted as saying by local APA news agency on Monday.
Hasanov also said that Huseynov was arrested under substantial charges of slander and that during the trial, he was found criminally liable.
“Therefore, relating Mehman Huseynov’s arrest to his profession and politicizing it and thus attempting to question the decision…that is in accordance with the legislation of Azerbaijan is unacceptable”, Hasanov said.
He also mentioned that courts in Azerbaijan are “independent” and that no campaigns of any sort would be able to influence their decisions.
Huseynov is one of dozens of journalists, bloggers and human rights activists currently imprisoned in Azerbaijan.
The blogger was sentenced to two years imprisonment in Baku Surakhani District Court last Friday. He was punished on the basis of a complaint by prosecutor Musa Musayev, chief of the Nasimi District Police Office.
Huseynov was detained on January 9, and accused of ‘disobeying police orders’. He was released the day after but ordered to pay a fine of 200 manat. Huseynov claimed he was tortured by personnel of the police station where he was held. On January 11, Huseynov’s lawyer publicly showed pictures of his clothes with blood stains on them.
However, the Ministry of Internal Affairs rejected the torture claims. Later, Nasimi district police chief Musa Musayev lodged a complaint against Huseynov that his claims of torture could be considered slander against the police.