Qiyas Ibrahimov Sentenced to 10 Years Imprisonment

The trial of N!DA Civic Movement member, Qiyas Ibrahimov, came to an end on October 25 in Baku Court on Grave Crimes.

The trial of N!DA Civic Movement member, Qiyas Ibrahimov, came to an end on October 25 in Baku Court on Grave Crimes.

Defense lawyer Elchin Sadiqov symbolically chose not to make an oral closing statement, however he did submit a written statement to the court. He later told reporters that “whatever [he] were to say, it wouldn’t make any difference.”

We present below Ibrahimov’s final statement before the verdict:

“I see no point in defending myself against the accusations against me. Everyone who has a conscience knows that the main reason of my arrest was my protest against the havoc and chaos in the country, my civic protest as a youth overall. I broke no written law. The system tries to present slavery as freedom. It is not possible to remain unpunished when one breaks the unbroken laws of this system. Ironically, you can get away with breaking the written law. Those who break the unwritten law are always misrepresented. My having written on a statue as a protest against injustice is assessed as a mockery of a deceased person’s soul. ‘You should have written that on your own father’s grave’, they told me. The chief of the detainment center says that ‘the people have half a mind to lynch you for what you’ve done…!’ In an effort to humiliate and belittle us, he has us sweep the floor. But this creature can’t understand that this doesn’t humiliate us. We are willing to go to prison. . .”

Ibrahimov’s final statement was met with applause in the courtroom. Ibrahimov was then removed from the courtroom and his sentence was read in his absence.

At the last court meeting, the public prosecutor asked for 9 years imprisonment.

Robert Herman, vice president for international programs at Freedom House, denounced the verdict in a public statement.

“The prison sentence for 22-year old Qiyas Ibragimov followed his being tortured and being found guilty of bogus charges of drug possession. The government is intolerant of dissent or free expression of any kind, demonstrating its fear of public opinion.”

On May 10, N!DA Civic Movement members Bayram Mammadov and Qiyas Ibrahimov were detained after drawing graffiti on a statue to the former president of Azerbaijan in downtown Baku.

The youth activists were later detained and charged with drug possession and intent to distribute.

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