Web Desk February 15, 2021

On February 15, the Baku Court of Appeal (BCA) chaired by Hasan Ahmedov completed the consideration of a complaint against the verdict of the founder of the website xeberman.com Polad Aslanov. The complaint was dismissed and BCA upheld the first-instance verdict.

 

Despite the trial was open, media representatives were not allowed into the hall, and Polad Aslanov, who is on hunger strike for the 16th day, gave the last word, said Aslanov’s wife. “Polad was very pale, his hands were trembling and he could hardly hold on. He asked the court for permission to speak in a sitting position,”Aslanova said. According to her, Polad repeated that he was being persecuted for political reasons. He also said that he had prepared a will, and in the event of death, he places responsibility on the country’s authorities.

 

Gulmira Aslanova noted that her husband is continuing his hunger strike, while no medical supervision is being conducted, moreover, he is being held in an ordinary cell.

 

After the court session, a group of activists held a protest action demanding the release of Polad Aslanov, chanting, “Freedom for political prisoners!” and others. The police pushed the participants away from the courthouse.

 

* On November 16, the founder of the website xeberman.com, Polad Aslanov, was found guilty of espionage for Iran by the court and sentenced to 16 years in prison. The state prosecutor asked to be sentenced to 17 years.

 

Aslanov was arrested on June 12, 2019 and charged under Article 274 of the Criminal Code (treason). The investigation claims that Aslanov recruited fellow journalists and persuaded them to cooperate with the Iranian special services. Aslanov denied all charges, claiming that he was being prosecuted for exposing the facts of corruption on the part of intelligence officers. International organizations condemned his arrest, calling for the release of Aslanov.

 

On February 1, consideration of P. Aslanov’s appeal began. During the trial, he announced a hunger strike, demanding to ensure the objectivity of the trial.

 

Source: Turan News Agency

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