Meet the Azerbaijani judges past their term limits sentencing political prisoners
Many of these judges administered the cases of people whom local and international organizations have described as political prisoners.
According to statistics, there are 560 judges working in Azerbaijani courts. Although their terms have ended, there are some who continue to work and pass rulings.
Article 96 of the law on courts and judges says that 68 is the maximum age limit for judges at the Supreme Court and 66 is the maximum age limit for judges at other courts. Meet the judges whose term of office is over:
- Aliovsat Mazahir oglu Abasov - judge at the Baku Court for Grave Crimes - born in 1951, age 68
- Ilgar Eyvaz oglu Abbasov - chairman of the Baku Sabunchu District Court - born in 1952, age 67
- Ramella Allahverdi gizi Allahverdiyeva - judge at the Baku Court for Grave Crimes - born in 1950, age 69
- Etibar Qazanfar oglu Nabiyev - judge at the Baku Court of Appeals - born in 1950, age 69
- Gulzar Latif gizi Rzayeva - judge at the Supreme Court - born in 1950, age 69
- Seyidova Sariyya Seyid gizi - judge at the Baku Court of Appeal - born in 1950, age 69
- Nazim Husu oglu Tagiyev - chairman of the Baku Khatai District Court - born in 1953, age 66
- Ali Mahammad oglu Rustamov - judge at the Supreme Court - born in 1949, age 70
Let us start with Ramella Allahverdiyeva, a judge at the Baku Court for Serious Crimes. She was the judge in the case of Khadija Ismayilova, an investigative journalist; Elnur Seyidov, former deputy director of the Yasamal branch of Texnikabank, son-in-law of Ali Karimli; and Avaz Zeynalli, the editor-in-chief of Xural newspaper. She sentenced Khadija Ismayil to seven years and six months in prison, and Elnur Seyidov to seven years and six months as well. She sentenced Avaz Zeynalli to nine years in prison.
Ilgar Abbasov, the chairman of the Sabunchu District Court, was the judge for Nardaran prisoner Mubariz Agarzayev. Abbasov sentenced Agarzayev to two years in prison.
In April 2019, Etibar Nabiyev, a judge at the Baku Court of Appeal, considered the case regarding the blocking of Meydan TV website in the country. He upheld the 2017 ruling passed by the Sabail District Court to ban the online TV's broadcasts. The judge's term of office stipulated by the law had ended three years before the moment he passed the ruling.
Gulzar Rzayeva, judge at the Supreme Court, reviewed the cases of lawyer Intigam Aliyev, head of the EMDSC Anar Mammadli, the NGO's executive director Bashir Suleymanli, ReAL party chairman Ilgar Mammadov, and Musavat party member Tofig Yagublu.
In 2016, the judge rejected a cassation appeal filed by lawyer Intigam Aliyev against his seven-year-and-six-month imprisonment. Two months later, the Supreme Court reviewed an additional cassation protest filed by Prosecutor-General Zakir Garalov regarding the severity of Intigam Aliyev's sentence and he was released.
In 2014, the judge rejected a cassation appeal filed by human rights activist Anar Mammadli against his five-year-and-six-month imprisonment sentence and a cassation appeal filed by Bashir Suleymanli against his three-year-and-six-month imprisonment sentence. The European Court acknowledged the violation in Anar Mammadli's case of the article regarding the right to freedom as well as of Article 18 - restriction of rights for political purposes. The court fined the government to the tune of 22,500 euros.
In November 2016, Gulzar Rzayeva rejected a cassation appeal filed by Ilgar Mammadov, the chairman of ReAL Party, against the ruling to imprison him for seven years and a cassation appeal filed against Tofig Yagublu's five-year prison sentence. The European Court found that the ruling to imprison Ilgar Mammadov was a violation as it restricted his rights for political purposes.
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