[:en]The Prosecutor General”s Office of Azerbaijan has distributed a message about summon of Tofig Yagublu, a member of the coordination center of the National Council of Democratic Forces (NSDS), to this structure.
In a joint statement by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Prosecutor General”s Office, the summon was linked to “provocative actions” by Yagublu, who deliberately and biasedly disseminated false information on his facebook page aimed at undermining citizens’ trust in the state, inciting people to anti-government actions, violating socially political stability.
Yagublu was summoned to the prosecutor general”s office, and he received an official warning that if such actions continue, strict measures prescribed by law, including criminal prosecution will be applied, the report said.
It is further noted in the message that the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Prosecutor General”s Office are warning users of social networks that open calls for violating socio-political stability, undermining citizens’ trust in the state, holding illegal protests, calls for seizing power, forcibly changing the constitutional order and other illegal actions will be resolutely suppressed.
Tofig Yagublu told Turan that the Prosecutor General”s Office showed him printouts of copies of many of his Facebook posts.
“They tried to prove to me that in my statuses there are calls for the seizure of power, for unrest, and terror. However, there is nothing of the kind there and did not present a single concrete fact,” said Yagublu.
He noted that he is criticizing, and will continue to criticize the authorities. “I sharply criticize the authorities. I say that it is illegitimate, corrupt, election fraud. Freedom is not guaranteed in the country. The powers become illegally enriched. The authorities do not like all this,” said Yagublu.
He noted that he would continue his activities based on the law, called the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Prosecutor General’s Office punitive units of the regime.
“I will continue my work. Let them arrest me. I will defend myself, there is no other way,” said Yagublu.
An expert in the field of media law, Khalid Agaliyev, commenting on Turan”s warning to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Prosecutor General”s Office, noted that in the case of a call for a violent change of government, freedom of expression might be limited. However, calls to take to the streets to protest the government, or criticize the authorities, are not a call for a violent change of power. According to him, the warning to the security forces is intimidating,
Another expert in the field of media law, Alesker Mammadli, also noted that freedom of expression can be limited only in the interests of national security, territorial integrity, public order, to prevent crime, protect health, protect the rights of others, etc. All this is stipulated in the Constitution of the country and 10 article of the European Convention on Human Rights.
In all other cases, no one may be prosecuted for freedom of expression. It is not permissible that the Prosecutor General”s Office and the Ministry of Internal Affairs give such warnings. This is nothing more than intimidation of citizens. If we follow the logic of law enforcement agencies, then any criticism can be brought under violation of the law, the expert noted.