April 16, prominent human rights activist, Rasul Jafarov was sentenced to 6 and half years by the Baku Court for Grave Crimes.
In an interview with Azadliq Radiosu Sanan Jafarov, Rasul Jafarov’s brother, says the decision to sentence Rasul was made far in advance. “I just wasn’t expecting a 6.5 years sentence. I thought it would be less”, said Sanan.
Rasul Jafarov himself described the sentence as “politically motivated based on trumped up charges”.
During the final hearing, one of Rasul’s laywer, Alibaba Rzayeva spoke of each of the five charges brought against Jafarov. He once again said the decision was illegal based on bogus charges.
Fariz Namazli, Rasul’s second lawyer said, “we presented the court with all the evidence proving Rasul’s innocence. Unfortunately the court never listened to our side and did not take the evidence presented into account”.
All evidence brought in court was dismissed as forged evidence.
The lawyers intend to appeal the decision.
Dunja Mijatovic, the OSCE Representative on Media Freedom described the sentence in her tweet as "severe setback" for media freedom.
Nils Muiznieks, Commissioner for Human Rights said he was "dismayed" in his tweet reacing to the court decision.
Rasul jafarov was arrested August 2, 2014. He was originally charged with illegal business, tax evasion and abuse of power. Later he was accused of embezzlement and forgery. Originally the prosecutor asked for 9 years.