An Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) correspondent who was recently released from prison in Baku says he had been framed by the Azerbaijani police. Upon his release, Anar Bayramli rejected as fake the drug-related charges pushed by Azerbaijani officials against him, and stated that he was actually arrested for his journalistic activities. The IRIB’s local correspondent, who spent an unjust 10-month term in jail, thanked human rights organizations and activists who pressured Baku to release him, and vowed to resume his activities as a journalist. Bayramli was released along with 86 other inmates after Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed a pardon order for the detainees, among them a number of political prisoners.
The IRIB reporter was arrested on February 17 after Azerbaijani police falsely incriminated him for allegedly possessing drugs.A Baku court sentenced Bayramli to two years in prison on June 11 based on false testimonies. On August 2, an appeals court reduced his sentence to 12 months following broad protests by Azerbaijani, Iranian and Turkish associations and international human rights bodies. More than 30 social, media and political establishments in Azerbaijan as well as tens of international bodies, including Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders, condemned Bayramli’s arrest and described him as a political prisoner detained over his professional working and his knowledge of religious developments. MRS/HMV