The court replaced Elchin Sadigov’s “arrest” with “house arrest”

On September 17, the Court of Appeal replaced the measure of restraint “arrest” for lawyer Elchin Sadigov with “house arrest”. He was released and returned home. Thus, the court partially satisfied the complaint, since the plaintiff asked for the termination of the criminal case due to the absence of corpus delicti.


*Journalist Avaz Zeynalli and lawyer Elchin Sadigov were arrested on September 11 on charges of accepting a large bribe and aiding, respectively.


They denied the allegations and linked the accusations to their professional activities


Source: Turan News Agency

IDI points to lack of progress on freedom of expression in Azerbaijan

There is no progress in the state of freedom of expression in Azerbaijan, according to a study by the Azerbaijan Non-Governmental Institute for Democratic Initiatives (IDI). The NGO has prepared a detailed study “On the state of freedom of expression in Azerbaijan”, which analyzed the situation for 2021.


“Compared to previous years, there has been no progress in the state of freedom of expression in Azerbaijan. No positive changes in the legislation have been registered, and in practice, state institutions abused their powers and carried out unlawful interference with freedom of expression,” the document emphasizes.


Often, administrative authorities used punitive powers as a means of unreasonable pressure to restrict freedom of expression. The practice of detentions, pressure and threats to political and public activists for their dissent on social networks continued. In 2021, six people were prosecuted for disseminating opinions.


One of the biggest problems is the existence of criminal liability for libel in the legislation and the application of this article in practice, the authors of the study believe.


Another main violation identified by the ECHR in many cases against Azerbaijan is the disproportionate punishment. “Thus, these decisions indicated that local courts chose the most severe sanctions and did not take into account factors such as the role of a person in public life,” the IDI emphasizes.


In 2021, the ECHR ruled on violations of the right to freedom of speech in a total of 85 cases. Six decisions against Azerbaijan were recognized as a violation of the right to freedom of expression, and the country ranks 3rd in this ranking. To date, the ECHR has issued 16 judgments against Azerbaijan regarding violations of freedom of speech, the study further states. The government does not implement the verdicts of the Strasbourg court in full.


Although the compensatory part of the judgments is mainly implemented, however, the norms of the legislation are not adapted to the prescriptions of the ECHR and the provisions of the European Convention, the illegal actions of officials that led to the violation of the rights of citizens are not investigated. The study concluded with a number of recommendations.


In particular, it is proposed to exclude articles 147 (libel) and 148 (insult) from the Criminal Code and establish only civil liability for defamation.


Criminal cases in which journalists were sentenced to prison terms should also be re-investigated, with the subsequent release of those illegally sentenced to this.


Laws on the protection of journalists in the performance of their professional activities and on ensuring their access to information should be applied in practice.


The authorities must show political will and take into account the reports of PACE and local human rights activists regarding the release of political prisoners.


General prescriptions in the decisions of the ECtHR on ensuring freedom of expression should be implemented, the persecution of users of social networks should be suspended, the study concludes.


IDI was founded in 2013. The institute is headed by former CEC member Akif Gurbanov


Source: Turan News Agency


Yerevan openly criticizes CSTO

The sluggish reaction of the CSTO to Armenia’s call to intervene in the military conflict with Azerbaijan provoked sharp criticism from official Yerevan. Earlier this criticism came from experts and pro-Western politicians, now the first persons of the country are expressing dissatisfaction. Thus, the Speaker of the Parliament Alen Simonyan stated: “Our expectations are not justified. It will be difficult for us to explain to the people why the CSTO is not taking the prescribed measures. Naturally, we drew conclusions.”


Simonyan recalled that there is also an agreement on friendship and mutual assistance between Armenia and Russia, and in his words, the Armenian side is waiting for more tangible actions from Moscow, rather than statements.


He also expressed indignation at the “provocative” statements addressed to the Armenian authorities on the air of Russian public TV channels.


Referring to the forthcoming visit of Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, Simonyan noted that she was coming at his invitation. “Her visit to Armenia will be of great importance precisely from the point of view of security,” the speaker said.


In turn, the head of the Armenian Security Council, Armen Grigoryan, was more specific, saying that “Yerevan’s demand to the CSTO was to provide military and military-political assistance to Armenia so that the Azerbaijani troops were withdrawn from the territory of Armenia, but so far it has not been fulfilled” – he told “Radio Azatutyun”.


“The fact that the CSTO has not responded properly so far means that our expectations have not been met,” he said.


Source: Turan News Agency

Yerevan claims that more than 10 Armenian soldiers were captured

On September 13, during the fighting on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, more than 10 Armenian soldiers were captured, stated to the media the representative of Armenia in the European Court of Human Rights Hasmik Samvelyan.


According to her, the European Court of Human Rights sent a request to Azerbaijan regarding the fate of the captured Armenians. She also stated that Armenia filed a lawsuit with the International Court of Justice accusing Azerbaijan of war crimes.


It should be noted that the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan did not report the capture of the Armenian military during the hostilities on September 12-14


Source: Turan News Agency

Mines laid by Armenians during recent military escalation discovered

The Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan announced the discovery of mines laid by sabotage groups of the Armenian armed forces during the recent military escalation at the border.


“The Azerbaijan Army’s engineer-sapper units are clearing the territories and supply roads between the positions of the Azerbaijan Army Units, which were mined by the opposing side’s sabotage groups in different directions. The sabotage groups of the opposing side took advantage of the mountainous terrain of the area and the existing ravine gaps at nighttime and mined these territories during a large-scale provocation committed by the Armenian armed forces on the night of September 12 in the Kalbajar, Lachin, and Dashkasan regions.


As a result of demining activities conducted in the area, 100 Armenian-made PMN-E anti-personnel mines, 8 PMN-2 anti-personnel mines, and 10 anti-tank mines were detected and neutralized.


Necessary activities on engineering support are underway. The Ministry of Defense distributed photos and videos about the discovered mines


Source: Turan News Agency

Armenian UAV neutralized over Nakhchivan

An UAV of the Armed Forces of Armenia, performing a reconnaissance flight, was neutralized over the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic (NAR), the press service of the Separate Combined Arms Army of Azerbaijan stationed in the NAR.


“On September 16, air defense units in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, detected an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) belonging to the Armed Forces of Armenia, which was trying to make reconnaissance flights over the defensive positions of the Separate Combined Arms Army; with the help of special technical means it was lowered to the ground and neutralized,” the report says.


It should be noted that in recent days, on social networks, Armenian users have been spreading video footage of military equipment that is heading to the border of Armenia with the NAR.


Source: Turan News Agency