Azerbaijani surgeon gets six years in prison in Georgia

The trial in the case of Farman Jeyranov – an Azerbaijani surgeon and co-founder of the clinic Lancet in the Georgian capital – has ended at the Tbilisi city court. The court sentenced Jeyranov to six years in prison.

Jeyranov believes that he is a personal prisoner of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. He says that the Georgian prosecutor's office is persecuting him at Aliyev's request. The jailed clinic director also flatly denies any involvement in financing the Azerbaijani opposition.

"I am a personal hostage and prisoner of Aliyev. I am a physician and have nothing do with politics. When a patient comes to my clinic, I do not inquire about their political views. The Georgian prosecutor's office is persecuting me on political grounds, at Aliyev's request. There is no legal basis for the case in which I am a defendant," Jeyranov said at one of the court sessions.

Farman Jeyranov was arrested on 23 May. Georgian Public TV reported that law-enforcement agencies had received a statement regarding the activities of the clinic Lancet, where Jeyranov is one of the directors. The statement claims that the clinic performed illegal transplantations, and that patients died during two such operations.

Farman Jeyranov is charged under Article 180 (fraud) of the Georgian Criminal Code.

Before Jeyranov was arrested, websites affiliated with the Azerbaijani government described him as "one of the core members of the Azerbaijani opposition in Georgia", and the government insistently demanded that the Georgian government put an end to the political activities of opposition members who had fled Azerbaijan.

Farman Jeyranli was born in the Georgian district of Sagarejo in 1957. He went to Azerbaijani Medical University. He spent years working as a surgeon in Moscow. He is a Doctor of Medical Sciences. Starting from 1993, he continued his work in Azerbaijan. In 1995, he became director of the M. Topchubashov Scientific Surgical Center.