Public Chamber of Azerbaijan opposition appealed to international community on Elnur Seydiov’s trial

Statement of the Public Chamber on Elnur Seyidov court trial, deputy-director of Yasamal branch of the Texnika Bank of Azerbaijan, brother-in-law of Mr. Ali Karimli, chairperson of Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA) and member of Coordinating Council of Pro-democracy Public Chamber

As known, Mr. Elnur Seyidov, deputy-director of Yasamal branch of the Texnika Bank of Azerbaijan (renamed now into Technique Bank of Azerbaijan), brother-in-law of Mr. Ali Karimli, chairperson of PFPA has been kept under custody in the detention center of the Ministry of National Security. Last time, the court decided to prolong the detention time on December 4, thus the arrest time reached to one year.

As also the lawyers stated several times, no serious investigation action was held during his 9 months under arrest and he was not given the reasons for his arrest. It means there was no reason to prolong his trial process for more three months.

As to Criminal Code of Azerbaijan the maximum time to keep under arrest before bringing to court is 9 months. Only, in exceptional case, should there be serious crimes, it can be prolonged to one year. The investigation body had no reasons to keep him under arrest as far as did not implement any serious investigations, and his case didn’t fall under serious crimes, but kept him under arrest with no reasons at hand, thus demonstrated its partiality towards him.

The wider public was well-awared on the trumped-up charges against him and all knew he was arrested to put pressure on his relative Ali Karimli, chairman of PFPA.

Elnur Seyidov is accused of fraud, Articles 178 of the Criminal Code. As to the requirements of the Criminal Code, the Ministry of Internal Affairs is entitled to carry out  the investigation process, but the law is seriously breached. The trial process is being held by the Ministry of National Security (MNS). MNS misused its powers and transcended the laws. This fact proves the arrest to be politically motivated and MNS acts here as a means of political repression machine.

Besides, Elnur Seyidov was arrested 20 days later, after the arrest of the director of Technique bank Etibar Aliyev and others. The fabricated charges said he had violated the laws fulfilling the assignments and task by the bank management for their own benefit. Now Etibar Aliyev and others employees have been released, but Elnur Seyidov is kept under custody and this behaviour well illustrates the political motivation and partiality towards him.

Elnur Seyidov is ill with multiple sclerosis. There is a law, dated 7 March 2012, which ensures several additional rights and provisions to patients with multiple sclerosis. Even if they were under custody, the law provides provisions for their release. Notwithstanding Elnur Seyidov suffers from this disease, not only he’s being released, but also he’s been applied a number of limitations casing threats to his life.

Besides, Elnur Seyidov is may be the only person, whose documents proving his illness were stolen having been sent to ECHR by the state post-office service. The lawyers were obliged to again collect and restore the documents to again send to ECHR, which caused a considerable time loss.

Public Chamber states that Elnur Seyidov is a hostage at the hand of authorities for his relative ties with Ali Karimli. Nothing can explain such an inhuman and lawless actions towards him. This is one of the elements of pressure of the Azerbaijan political establishment to Ali Karimli and PFPA, therefore, court and law-enforcement bodies are the means to their authoritarian politics.

It is known that tens of PFPA activists and relatives of PFPA chairman have been arrested on different trumped-up charges. PFPA has been forced out from its office 6 years back and until now it has no office. Ali Karimli has been deprived from the right to obtain external passport for the fabricated charges of 19 years back and for 7 years until now he can’t get passport.

Public Chamber calls upon the authorities to withdraw from such an undemocratic, unlawful and inhuman behaviour and put an end to repressions toward PFPA chairman.

At the same time, Public Chamber calls upon the peoples of Azerbaijan, civil society and international community not to remain indifferent to what happens and increase their pressures against the government to force it to withdraw from the illegal practices.

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