Date of arrest – 9 May 2013
(2000 Criminal Code) –
234.4.3 – Narcotics (Illegal purchase or storage with intent to sell, manufacturing, processing, transportation, transfer or selling of narcotics or psychotropic substances, when committed in large amount).
Penal facility – Prison No.2
Rashad Ramazanov, a religious follower, used to actively post micro blogs on social media networks, particularly on Facebook in which he criticized the governmental policy and high-ranking Azerbaijani officials, including the President.
He also was charged with drug possession, a widely used charge against activists in Azerbaijan. Following his arrest, Ramazanov was unlawfully held in the Ministry of Internal Affairs Organized Crime Department for 11 days. After repeated calls for release from local and international organizations, he was transferred to the pre-trial detention facility. Well-known lawyer Aslan Ismayilov stated that Ramazanov was subject to torture and beatings in custody. Ismayilov’s appeal to relevant agencies demanding an investigation into this matter yielded no result. On the contrary, Ismayilov was himself detained by police, who told him to stop making such statements, otherwise he would be punished. A short while later, Ismayilov was dismissed from the Bar Association.
Sentence —On 13 November 2013, Baku Court of Grave Crimes sentenced Ramazanov to nine years’ loss of liberty. On 16 January 2014, the Baku Court of Appeal and on 14 May 2014 the Supreme Court upheld this sentence.
Status — Amnesty International recognized Ramazanov as a prisoner of conscience.
Release — Released after presidential pardon on 16 March 2019.