The week of July 25-29 saw some military guards of the border service arrested on drug charges, Blinken calling Aliyev and an opposition party member who was deported from Germany received his sentence.
Military border guards arrested on drug trafficking charges
Seven military personnel of the State Border Service (SBS) were arrested on July 25. They are accused of transporting more than 90 kilograms of drugs from the Azerbaijan-Iran border into the Azerbaijani Jabrayl region. In addition to the military personnel, one civilian was also arrested.
The plan was that members of this group would cross the border in a car with the drugs, and abandon it in an empty location. Later, the others would locate the car and take possession of the drugs. However, they were surprised by other border guards while taking the vehicles.
They were charged with smuggling, acquisition of large quantities of drugs for the purpose of sale, illegal possession of toxic substances and unregular crossing of the state border of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
US Secretary of State and the President of Azerbaijan had a phone call
On July 26, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had a call with President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev. The topic of the conversation was the Azerbaijani-Armenian relations.
Through official means, the spokesman of the State Department, Ned Price, revealed Blinken discussed the historic opportunity of Azerbaijan and Armenia to achieve peace during the talks with Aliyev. The State Secretary also offered to assist in the opening of regional transport and communication links. Blinken encouraged the continuation of bilateral dialogue by using the Tbilisi meeting of the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia.
However, the summary of the meeting released by the Azerbaijani side offered other highlights. The news published on the official site of the President of Azerbaijan noted that during the conversation, the importance of the memorandum of understanding signed between Azerbaijan and the European Union Commission in the field of energy was noted with pleasure.
Opposition party member who was deported from Germany sentenced to six years in prison
Pünhan Karimli, a member of the opposition party Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA) lived in Germany for almost three years trying to get his political asylum. He was deported to back to Azerbaijan in November 2021, and arrested two months later. Until Tuesday, he was in pre-trial detention.
The PFPA activist was sentenced to six years in prison with drug charges. He denies the indictment and claims that no drugs were found with him during his search. Karimli frames the accusations against him as false and believes he was arrested because of his political activity.
So far, six people deported from Germany have been arrested. A criminal case was initiated against five of them, and an administrative arrest order was issued against one person. All of them are political activists from parties that oppose Aliyev’s regime.