Religious activist detained at Baku airport released
Muslim Unity Movement Member Elvin Muradov, who had been detained upon his arrival from Moscow at Baku's international airport on 5 February, has been released.
He had reportedly been taken from the airport to the General Directorate for Combating Organized Crime of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and later released.
Muradov confirmed his release. “Since the evening I am at home. Everything is well..,” he was quoted as saying by RFE/RL Azerbaijani Service.
The Muslim Unity Movement believes Muradov’s detention was related to his poems and songs dedicated to the organization’s leader Taleh Bagirzade, who is accepted by The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) as a political prisoner along with journalist Afghan Mukhtarli, who was abducted in central Tbilisi and later ended up in Baku's prison after having been illegally brought to Azerbaijan.
Bagirzade is an outspoken Shia cleric who was arrested for his role in the deadly clashes between security forces and Muslim activists in Nardaran, a village on the outskirts of Baku, in 2015. Bagirzade, along with his deputy Abbas Huseynov, were sentenced to 20 years in prison, convicted of publicly calling for the overthrow of the government and of inciting social and religious hatred.
Muradov has commuted between Baku and Russia for a long time. He was last in Azerbaijan six months ago.
According to Muradov’s relatives, he came to Baku for his ill child's birthday.
Requests for comment from the Ministry of Internal Affairs went unanswered.
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