On November 22, 2013, police arrested Abdul Abilov, 32, a social media activist and the administrator of the critical Facebook pages “Yaltaqlara dur deyək!” (“Stop those flattering the regime!”) and “Seçki saxtakarlığı” (“Election fraud”) in Baku on narcotics-related charges. Police claimed they found drugs both in Abilov’s pocket and in his home. Both Facebook pages were shut down shortly after police seized his computer during a search of his home.

Abilov’s lawyer told Human Rights Watch that at his trial Abilov said that the drugs were planted and that during his interrogation police asked him questions only about his critical posts, political activism, and relationship to the opposition Popular Front Party. Abilov was denied access to a lawyer of his own choosing during initial police interrogation and at his pretrial detention hearing.

On May 27, 2014, the Grave Crimes Court in Baku sentenced Abilov to five-and-a-half years in prison.

ON TWITTER

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