Court Extends Detention for Journalists Aziz Orucov and Shamo Eminov

Aziz Orujov, illustration: Meydan TV

Court extends detention period for prosecutor’s submission

The head of the Baku office of “Channel 13” internet television, Aziz Orucov, and the channel’s employee, Shamo Eminov, had their detention extended during the investigation period.

On March 19, the prosecutor’s submission to extend the duration of the detention measure was considered in the Sabail District Court. Separate court proceedings were held for each of them.

During both court proceedings, the defense representing the suspects stated that the investigation into Aziz Orucov and Shamo Eminov on charges of smuggling has not yet concluded. Several procedural steps are remaining. It is not appropriate for them to be released while the investigation is ongoing because there is a possibility of influencing the course of the process by being released.

The accused individuals and their lawyers objected to the submission, stating that it was unfounded and should not be granted.

Aziz Orucov emphasized that they have not committed any crimes and that the accusation of smuggling is baseless and fabricated. According to him, the aim is to silence “Channel 13”. In addition to informing the court that his client was unjustly detained, Aziz Orucov’s lawyer also brought attention to his health problems to the judge. However, the submission was granted in both court proceedings – the detention period for Aziz Orucov and Shamo Eminov has been extended for another 2 months.

Aziz Orucov was detained on November 27. Initially, he was charged under Article 188.2 of the Criminal Code (Construction or installation works on land without permission, ownership, use, or lease rights) for allegedly building a house without permission. On December 19, Aziz Orucov was additionally charged under Article 206.3.2 of the Criminal Code (smuggling – when committed by a group of persons in advance).

Later on December 22, Shamo Eminov, an employee of the channel, was also arrested on the same criminal charge under Article 206.3.2 of the Criminal Code.

Both of them deny these accusations, stating that they are being punished for the activities of “Channel 13”.

Aziz Orucov’s wife, Lamiya Azizova, reported serious health problems affecting him, which led to his transfer to a medical facility.

In the past 4 months, nearly 15 journalists representing various media organizations in Azerbaijan have been detained on charges of smuggling. Searches were conducted in the offices of media organizations such as “AbzasMedia” and “Toplum TV”. It is alleged that employees of the named media organizations brought money into the country through smuggling. The journalists reject these accusations, stating that they are being punished for exposing corruption within the government.

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