Blogger and photographer
Date of arrest – 3 March 2017
Charge (Article of the Criminal Code) –
147.2. – The slander, which relates to accusation of committing serious or especially serious crime.
Penal facility – Prison No. 14
Summary of the case
A well-known photographer and blogger Mehman Huseynov is an administrator of the Facebook page named “Sanjaq” (The Pin) which has a big number of followers. Using this page, which has more than 325 000 followers Huseynov, was publishing materials about property and luxurious lifestyle of the government officials as well as materials criticising current social problems of the country. Most of the materials were of an ironic and sarcastic nature. Also, he published materials related to social surveys and they were viewed by many people. The last video that was published was about appointment of the First Lady to the position of Vice-president by the President. In a day after the video was realised he was arrested in the court room following the decision of the Court based on the special format lawsuit of the Head of the Nasimi District Police Office.
The reason of his arrest was that on 11 January 2017 he accused the police officer in infliction of torture and inhumane and degrading treatment to him in front of the Nasimi District Court. On 10 January, he was arrested and taken to the police office and was subjected to physical force and degrading treatment. His complaint about this was not properly addressed even if he with an assistance of his lawyer collected and documented all the evidences including bloodstains on the clothes and the expertise confirmed that he had injuries. On 11 January, he was convicted of non-obedience to the police officer, who is often involved in pressure against activists, and was taken to the Nasimi District Court to be accused in the administrative procedure and admirative arrest was asked in his case. Court issued a decision fining Huseynov on 200 AZN. After the Court Huseynov gave an interview to the press that he was subjected to torture and inhumane and degrading treatment by the police officers.
In 2012 Huseynov was arrested and charged with hooliganism; prosecutors demanded his arrest however court appointed the police control after him. After this, travel ban was put on him, later his national ID and foreign passport were confiscated and his request for new documents was rejected.
A few months before his arrest, M. Huseynov was elected as a chairman of the (IRFS) Institute for Reporters Freedom and Safety, before that the Institute was chaired by his brother Emin Huseynov. After being elected with the initiative of IRFS the report reflecting human rights abuses as well as mention of the corruption cases involving 2 representatives of Azerbaijan and their ban on the voting in Parliament Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) was prepared and sent to the PACE.
Sentence – Huseynov was sentenced to 2 years loss of liberty on 3 March 2017 (judge Jeyhun Gadimov). Baku Court of Appeal upheld this decision on 12 April 2017 (presiding judge Vagif Mursagulov). Supreme Court ordered revision of the case by Baku Court of Appeal on 29 September 2017. Upon revision Baku Court of Appeal upheld the sentence by December 15, 2017 decision.