Azerbaijani police have arrested in Sumgayit Musavat Party’s youth activist Elvin Pashayev and charged him with illegal drug dealing, lawyer Nemat Kerimli told Turan News Agency on January 27.
Pashayev, according to the lawyer, was detained on January 23, but the police at the time didn’t inform his family. The family asked Kerimli to find out where Pashayev was, and only on January 27 he discovered that Pashayev was charged by the Narinamov District court for four months for allegedly illegally dealing large amounts of drugs.
Pashayev works as a teacher at Hedef education center and was arrested on his way to work. The police says they found 63 grams of drugs on him at the time of the arrest.
However, Pashayev’s family says he is being persecuted because of his activism and criticism of the government. In particular, according to Pashayev’s family, he was arrested after publishing a critical article about corruption and mismanagement at the Sumgayit State University.
Kerimli said he will appeal the charges. Deputy Chairman of th Musavat Party Elman Fattah has confirmed to Turan News Agency that Pashayev was arrested because of his activism. According to Fattah, Pashayev not only published critical articles, but also was popular among the youth as a teacher.
“Drug dealing charges against him are absurd. This is a very educated young man, he is an intellectual and doesn’t use or deal drugs,” Fattah added.
Drug possession and drug dealing charges are among the most popular used by Azerbaijani authorities against youth activists. In the past few years youth activists Abdul Abilov, Rashad Ramazanov, Elvin Abdullayev, Murad Adilov, faraj Kerili an Siraj Kerimli were arrested and charged with either of these charges that are believed to be trumped up.