In Baku, local authorities continue to silence voices but also skillfully are getting rid of alternative presidential candidates as it seems. Yesterday, February 4th, deputy chairperson of the opposition Musavat party- Tofig Yagublu and chairperson of the opposition group REAL- Ilgar Mammadov were arrested. Ilgar was questioned for several hours on the morning of the 4th and taken to the court. His lawyer while refraining from making any statements until the case received any final verdict after Mammadov received two months in pre- trial detention said:
This is totally illegal, a decision that has no legal basis. This decision is against the Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms as well as Azerbaijan's legislation. This is a result of a politically motivated decision nothing more.
The two are being charged with instigating riots in Ismayilli. If found guilty, they are facing up to three years in jail.
In addition, two more residents of Ismayilli- Abdullayev Mirkazım and Ismayıllı Elshen received two months in pre-trial detention. Ismayilli's brother posted the following update on Facebook:
This regime proved once again how infamous it is. By arresting my brother you will not stop me.
Natig Jafarli, the co- founder of the movement REAL, said in a video interview with RFE/RL that Ilgar Mammadov, and his movement were getting ready to announce Mammadov's candidacy in presidential elections on February 9th. It is obvious said Jafarli that this arrest was politically motivated. He added that the group's decision with candidacy is still effective.