CHINARLI, Azerbaijan (Panorama.am)—Dilham Askerov, a member of an armed group of Azerbaijanis detained last week in Karvachar by Artsakh authorities, had earlier been under investigation in Azerbaijan on charges of drug trafficking. Askerov was without any clear reason released shortly after being arrested, Azinform.az reports.
Shamkhor police were informed that the resident of the village Chinarli, 54-year-old Dilham Askerov, was cultivating narcotic plants. As a result of investigations conducted in Askerov’s house and yard, one and a half kilograms of dried marihuana were confiscated, reported Magerram Mamedov the head of the crime detection unit of Shamkhor regional police station.
Dilham Askerov’s co-villagers, 54-year-old Mubariz Mehdikhanov and 30-year-old Elbrus Ismayilov, were assisting him in implementation of drug trafficking . As a result of the investigation a criminal case was brought against the three suspects.
The resident of Chinarli village, who wished to remain anonymous, told the website that Askerov often used to leave for Russia for earning money and seldom appeared in the village.
Earlier a video showing how Askerov was detained for drug trafficking was disseminated by the Azerbaijani mass media. When asked by AzerInform.az to comment on the situation the Shamkhor police department stated that the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Azerbaijan had gave them precise orders not to provide any information on this issue.
In its turn Razm.info wonders how a man who had been detained in April on drug trafficking charges could appear in Karvachar just two months later and why the official bodies of Azerbaijan refuse to comment on the situation.
A group of Azerbaijanis, which included Askerov, had been arrested in Karvachar last by Artsakh authorities on suspicion of espionage and subversive activities. The Nagorno-Karabakh police force said the group members had killed one military serviceman and severely wounded a civilian. Another local teenager, it said, had been kidnapped and then brutally murdered by the alleged Azerbaijani saboteurs.
Another Opposition Activist Detained in Baku on Drug Charges
Meanwhile, in Baku, yet another opposition political activist was arrested and jailed on what was seen as trumped up drug charges. The chairman of the youth wing of the opposition Musavat (Equality) party, Farac Karimli, was detained in Baku on Thursday, RFE/RL’s Azerbaijani service reported.
Musavat party officials say Farac Karimli was detained at a health center in Baku. Karimli’s father told RFE/RL that his family had not been informed where his son is being held.
The article also notes that earlier, on July 17, Farac’s brother Sirac was arrested and charged with drug possession.
According to Musavat officials, Karimli’s detention is politically motivated as the 29-year-old opposition activist is an administrator of the party’s website and played a big role in the party’s online activities.
Interior Ministry spokesman Ehsan Zahidov told RFE/RL he has no information regarding Karimli’s arrest or current whereabouts.
The Azerbaijani Institute for Peace and Democracy (IPD) published a list of political prisoners in the country. As of May, 2014, there are 130 victims of political repression in Azerbaijan: 41 prisoners of conscience and 89 political prisoners.