Azerbaijani human rights activist Intiqam Aliyev may face new charges
Anar Qasimli, the lawyer of the arrested the head of the Legal Education Society, fears that his client may face new charges of illegal acquisition, sale or carrying knives.
This opinion caused by the appointment of the examination of the ornamental daggers seized during a search of the house of Intiqam Aliyev, reported the lawyer to the website “Caucasian Knot”.
Let us remind that Intiquam Aliyev was arrested August 8 in Baku on charges, similar to the charges to some other human rights defenders in the criminal case against a number of non-governmental organizations - under articles 213.1 (tax evasion), 308.2 (abuse of power) and 192.2.2 (illegal business) of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan.
August 14, Elviz Salayev, an investigator of the Investigation Department of Grave Crimes of the General Prosecutor's Office of Azerbaijan, appointed an expert examination or finding out whether the three souvenir daggers, seized during a search in the home of the human rights defender, could be regarded as bladed weapons," stated Mr. Qasimli. "This is probably done to present new charges to Intiqam Aliyev: illegal acquisition, sale or carrying of bladed weapons". Anar Qasimli considers the decision on the appointment of the examination unfounded: "How can anyone doubt the legality of storing items that are sold in shops?"
According to him, if the examination gives a favorable conclusion to the investigation, there is still no reason for bringing new charges against Mr. Aliyev, as the daggers were at his home, and storage of cold weapons (as opposed to their acquisition from illegal sources, wearing and marketing) is not punishable by law. Article 228.4 (illegal purchase, sale or carrying of bladed weapons) of the Criminal Code provides for punishment in the form of public works for a term of 160 to 200 hours, or correctional labor for up to two years, or imprisonment for up to one year.
As reported by the lawyer, Intiqam Aliyev said that following the same logic, the investigators could also take away ducks and hens from his court.
The lawyer also said that the authorities of prison №1 issued Mr. Aliyev with a reprimand after
he passed through lawyers some records regarding the continued protection of the rights in the European Court of Human Rights of the people whose cases have already been accepted for consideration. "These were notes on who to contact to protect the rights of about 40 applicants who filed complaints against fraud in the 2010 parliamentary elections. These cases are already in the European Court of Human Rights, and Intiqam Aliyev asked his colleagues to deal with the cases, initiated by him, until the end,” pointed Mr. Qasimli.
Legal Education Society engaged in the provision of legal assistance to citizens, including in the preparation of applications to the European Court of Human Rights. The organization also conducted educational programs for young lawyers, many of whom later became lawyers and protect the rights of political prisoners.
According to the lawyer, the measure of punishment in the form of a reprimand may be applied against the convicted person, and not to a defendant. Anar Qasimli also reported about the preparation of a defense motion to change the measure of restraint for Mr. Aliyev to home arrest.
The General Prosecutor's Office of Azerbaijan has not commented on the criminal case against Intiqam Aliyev so far.
August 12, Amnesty International declared Intiqam Aliyev a prisoner of conscience. He became the third human rights activist in Azerbaijan granted such a status by Amnesty International in recent weeks, following Leyla Yunus and Rasul Jafarov. The European human rights alliance Pro Bono has addressed the Azerbaijani authorities with the request to immediately release Intiqam Aliyev.