A court in Baku has sentenced 18 religious activists who are held on charges of rioting in the village of Nardaran. They were accused of murder, terrorism, organization of mass riots, illegal possession of weapons and other crimes, reports the BBC Russian.
The leader of the unregistered movement «Muslim unity» Taleh Bagirov was sentenced to 20 years in prison. His Deputy Abbas Huseynov also sentenced to 20 years in prison. Deputy Chairman of the opposition party «people’s front of Azerbaijan» Fuad Gahramanli received 10 years of imprisonment.
The other participants received sentences ranging from 10 to 20 years.
In November 2015, the police conducted a special operation in the settlement of Nardaran near Baku. During the operation killed four local residents, as well as several police officers. In the village is the base of the movement «Muslim Union». In Nardaran live mostly Shia. The government feared that there cannot be agents of Iran.
After operations in Nardaran, the authorities stated that «Muslim unity» were preparing terrorist attacks in the country, as well as a coup, in which Azerbaijan was supposed to turn from a secular to a Sharia state.
In December 2015 the Ministry of internal Affairs Azerbaidjan announced the arrest of 32 members of the «Muslim Union». Some of them then released.
Lawyers for the defendants said that the investigation «mardarescu case» is biased and reported torture against the accused. The defendants also claimed that they were subjected to torture during the investigation. Guilty they are not guilty. They explain that they are being persecuted for political reasons.
18 in Azerbaijan religious activists convicted of terrorism 26.01.2017