The Azerbaijani cultural activist Sahand Meali has been sentenced to 10 months in prison by the decision of the Sarab, Azerbaijan Revolutionary Court.
The court accused the activist of “propaganda against the Islamic system against and and for the benefit of separatist groups” on the basis of the report of the Ettelaat- Iran’s intelligence agency.
The verdict was issued in the accused’s absence. The court refused to disclose the charging materials titled, “propaganda campaign against the Islamic system by distributing a notice of invitation to the Babak Castle gathering to propagate separatist and nationalist groups”.
The sentence had apparently been sent to Sahand Meali by SMS while his mobile phone was at Ettleaat’s custody. The Ettelaat agents of Sarab, South Azernbaijan ensured to hand over Sahand’s mobile phone after elapse of his “3-day appeal right.” So, he was fraudulently stripped of his right to appeal.
On July 5 2018, the Security Forces raided the Sahand’s residence and detained him. Officers who searched the home, confiscated family’s computer, private pictures, certain personal belongings and arbitrarily detained the activist’s father and released him later.
On July 14, 300 million bail was posted to secure Sahand’s release.
Sahand Meali is one of the well-known activists of the Patriotic Movement of South Azerbaijan, which has repeatedly been detained by the security forces and has been imprisoned in many occasions.