A local correspondent of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) in Baku has been released from an Azeri prison after an unjust 10-month term. Following a request by human rights organizations and activists, Azeri President Ilham Aliyev signed a pardon order for 87 prisoners, including a number of political prisoners and IRIB correspondent Anar Bayramli.
He was arrested on February 17 after Azeri police falsely incriminated him for allegedly possessing drugs. A Baku court sentenced him to two years in prison on June 11 while his charges had not been proven.He was detained after someone had put drugs in a pocket of his coat which he was not wearing. The appeal court reduced his sentence from two years to 12 months on August 2 following broad protests by Azeri, Iranian and Turkish associations and international human rights bodies. More than 30 parties and social, media and political establishments in Azerbaijan and tens of international circles, including Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders and also a European Council’s reporter, condemned Bayramli’s arrest and called him a political prisoner, who had been detained for his professional working and his knowledge of religious developments. AR/SF/MA