Mekhman Guseinov. Photo by Aziz Karimov for the "Caucasian Knot"

27 December 2018, 08:26

Azerbaijani blogger suspected of new crime before going free

Mekhman Guseinov, convicted in Azerbaijan on charges of libel against policemen, was suspected of beating up a colony employee. They want to prevent the regime's critic from being released, rights defenders believe.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on March 3, 2017, Guseinov was sentenced to two years in prison on charges of defamation, because he had declared torture after detention. After serving half of the punishment term, the blogger petitioned for his conditional early relief (CER), but was refused. Guseinov has also complained about of psychological pressure in jail.

Guseinov published videos about corrupted high-ranking officials on the Facebook. The Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety (IRFS), where Guseinov was elected the director in December 2016, linked his detention with his investigative journalism.

During a search in the colony, Guseinov applied force to a lieutenant of justice, the public relations department of the Azerbaijani Penitentiary Service has stated. Besides, Guseinov scattered things in the office premise, the Service has stated.

Emin Guseinov, Mekhman's brother, now the IRFS director, has treated the new criminal case against the blogger as a provocation.

"Mekhman was told that they would punish him for the fact that in August, when he was released to our mother's funeral, he accused the ruling regime of her death and stated that he would continue exposing corruption among the authorities," said Emin Guseinov.

Khadija Ismayilova, a journalist and rights defender, has also expressed concern about the continuation in Azerbaijan of politically motivated arrests.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on December 26, 2018 at 11:53 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Faik Medjid Source: CK correspondent

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