Elchin Mammad sentenced
It has been reported that Azerbaijani human rights lawyer Elchin Mammad was sentenced to four years in prison by the Sumgait City Court on 14 October 2020.
Mr. Mammad is a human rights lawyer, President of the Social Union of Legal Education of Sumgait Youth (SULESY), an NGO providing free legal assistance to low income families and non-profits, as well as the Editor-in-chief of the newspaper Yukselish Namine, which publishes articles on human rights concerns in the country.
Mr. Mammad was arrested by the Sumgait city police on 30 March 2020, a few days after he had published a critical report on the human rights situation in Azerbaijan. His office was searched in his absence and the police claimed to have found stolen jewelry. On 31 March 2020, the Sumgait City Court remanded Mr. Mammad as a criminal suspect under Article 177.2.4 of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan (“theft causing significant damage”) in custody for three months. While in detention, Mr. Mammad was also charged under Article 288.1 of the Criminal Code (“illegal purchase and posession of firearm accessories”), as the police allegedly found ammunitions during a second search of the SULESY offices.
On 14 October 2020, Mr. Mammad was sentenced to four years in prison under the charges of “theft causing significant damage” and “illegal purchase and possession of firearm accessories”.
Lawyers for Lawyers urges the authorities of Azerbaijan to release and drop all charges against Mr. Mammad unless credible evidence is presented in proceedings that respect fair trial guarantees and put an end to all acts of harassment against Mr. Mammad, including at the judicial level and to guarantee in all circumstances that all lawyers in Azerbaijan are able to carry out their legitimate professional activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment.
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