The trial of Pyunkhan Kerimli, a member of the Party of People’s Front of Azerbaijan (PPFA) deported from Germany and charged with drug trafficking, ended on Wednesday in the Baku Court for Serious Crimes.
Before the verdict was announced, Kerimli rejected the charges as saying that he was being persecuted for political reasons.
Lawyer Javad Javadov also turned attention to the lack of evidence of Kerimli’s guilt in the alleged crime.
However, the court found Kerimli guilty and sentenced him to 6 years in prison. Earlier, the prosecutor proposed to convict the activist to 7,5 years in prison. The defense intends to appeal.
The activist’s father, Vahid Kerimov, also announced the falsification of criminal charges.
“My son was detained when he left the tax department. Could he have gone there with drugs in his pocket? This is a false accusation. Drugs were planted on him. My son is being persecuted for participating in actions to protect rights of political prisoners in Azerbaijan, and criticizing the authorities.
I would not regret if he was given 10 years in prison for political activity, but I will not accept drug charges,” the father said.
* Kerimli was arrested in January of this year, a month and a half after his readmission from Germany, where he was refused political asylum. Kerimli said that he was being persecuted for political reasons: participating in protests in Germany against human rights violations in Azerbaijan.