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Azerbaijan-Update: Additional charges of high treason and espionage brought against Hilal Mamedov
On 3 July 2012, Mr Hilal Mamedov, editor-in-chief of Talishi Sado (“Talysh Voice”) newspaper, was charged with high treason and incitement of national, racial or religious hatred.
On the following day, 4 July, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and General Prosecution office made a public statement announcing that Hilal Mamedov has also been charged with espionage on behalf of Iran.
According to the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan, Hilal Mamedov may face imprisonment from ten to fifteen years or life imprisonment under Article 274 for high treason. He may also face three to five years under Article 283.2.2 for incitement of national, racial or religious hatred.
Hilal Mamedov was arrested on 21 June for illegal possession of heroin, a charge which carries five to twelve years in prison. The police reported that they had found 5g of heroin in the pocket of Hilal Mamedov and 28.5g at his residence.
Hilal Mamedov was appointed editor-in-chief of Talishi Sado just 12 days prior to his arrest. The newspaper has not been published since the last editor-in-chief, Novruzali Mamedov, a prominent scientist, who died in prison after having been sentenced for espionage for Iran.
Front Line Defenders expresses concern for the physical and psychological integrity of human rights defender Hilal Mamedov and reiterates its calls for Azerbaijani authorities to drop all the charges against Hilal Mamedov, as it is believed that they are related to his peaceful and legitimate human rights work.
Please see urgent appeal of Front Line Defenders https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/node/18725
You can find additional information on the situation for human rights Defenders in Azerbaijan. HERE