A member of imprisoned Azerbaijani opposition figure Gubad Ibadoghlu’s Democracy and Prosperity Party has been sentenced to 30 days administrative arrest on charges of ‘disobeying police’.
Allahverdi Babayev, who chairs the party’s Khazar District office, was convicted on Saturday by the Khazar District Court of Baku, according to his party.
The party said Babayev was arrested the previous day ‘because he expressed harsh views against the government in his statement to journalists during the appeal court of Gubad Ibadoghlu.’
‘Babayev is a political prisoner!’, the party added.
Azerbaijani opposition activist Tofig Yagublu wrote on Facebook that Babayev’s arrest was illegal.
‘Look how many dishonourable people participated in defaming an innocent person’, Yagublu wrote, ‘1. The police officer who ordered the arrest of Allahverdi Babayev; 2. The police officers who arrested him; 3. The police officer who drew up a false report on him; 4. The court official who instructed the judge to give what punishment; 5. The judge who made an illegal decision.’
Gubad Ibadoghlu was detained on 23 July on charges of printing, acquiring, or selling counterfeit money as part of an organised group.
He was detained as part of a claimed crackdown on supporters of Turkish theologian Fethullah Gülen, who Turkey accuses of attempting a coup in 2016. He currently resides in America.
At the end of August, he was additionally charged with the preparation, storage, or distribution of religious extremist materials.
Ibadoghlu denies all the charges against him, dismissing them as politically motivated.
Since the arrest of Gubad Ibadoghlu, a number of international organisations and Western countries have called on the Azerbaijani government to immediately release him, including Amnesty International, the European Union Human Rights Committee, the US State Department, and others.