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Azerbaijani journalist given 15-day sentence following critical Facebook post

7 October 2021
Arrest of Anar Abdulla. Photo via Mikroskop Media.

Azerbaijani activist and journalist Anar Abdulla has been sentenced to 15 days in prison shortly after making a post on social media critical of the authorities.

Abdulla’s hearing on charges of petty hooliganism and disobeying police on Wednesday was closed to the press.

Abdulla was summoned by police on 5 October for a ‘preventative conversation’ concerning a post he made on Facebook. After attending the police station voluntarily, he was placed in cuffs immediately upon arriving.

The post in question, made on 14 September, was protesting recent price rises in Azerbaijan. ‘Regional executives deceive Ilham Aliyev, and Aliyev makes us pay’, the post read.

Abdullah’s lawyer, Zibeyda Sadigova, told OC Media that her client denied both charges against him.

‘A police officer told the court that Anar Abdullayev was summoned to the Narimanov District Police Office for a preventive interview in connection with a comment written on a social network’, Sadigova said.

‘According to the police, Anar Abdulla disobeyed the police’s orders at the police station and swore without address, so a report was drawn up against him. He was summoned for posting on social media and was beaten at the police station’, Sadigova said.

The Interior Ministry has denied allegations that Abdulla was subjected to pressure at the police station. Spokesperson Elshad Hajiyev told Turan thatthe allegations that physical pressure was exerted on Abdullayev are unfounded and untrue.’

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