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Election monitor's request for house arrest denied by Azeri authorities

On December 25, the Nasimi district court turned down Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Center chairman Anar Mammadli's request for replacement of his pretrial detention with house arrest. The petition was considered by Judge Rashid Samadov.

According to Mammadli's lawyer Elchin Sadigov, the decision is unlawful and will therefore be appealed.

On 24 December the U.S. State Department issued a statement, calling for his urgent release.

Background: Anar Mammadli was detained on December 16. He is charged under three articles of the Criminal Code: 192.2.2 (implementation of business activity without registration with extraction of income in the large size), 213.1 (evasion of a physical person from payment of taxes or other obligatory payments in significant amount), and 308.2 (abuse of power in order to influence the outcome of the election (referendum)). On December 16, the Nasimi district court sentenced him to 3 months in pretrial detention. The case is investigated by the Department on Investigation of Serious Crimes under the Prosecutor General's Office.

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