A Baku district court issued an arrest warrant against Netherlands-based Azerbaijani video blogger and social media activist Ordukhan Teymurkhan, Radio Liberty reported last Friday relying on a source from the Prosecutor’s Office.
Teymurkhan is charged under three articles of the criminal code relating to calls for terrorism, mass riots and attacks against the state, the sentence for which is up to eight years in prison.
The blogger, who is a Dutch citizen and has been living in the Netherlands for more than twenty years, called the charges ‘absurd’, explaining that he has never held Azerbaijani citizenship and cannot be extradited to Azerbaijan.
In February 2017, twelve of his family members were detained by police, including the blogger’s sisters and his two-year-old niece. The detentions occurred the same day that Teymurkhan attended a ‘Free Political Prisoners’ rally in Cologne, Germany. The head of the Surakhani District Police Station, Namig Hasanov, reportedly told Teymurkhan by phone, ‘Stop your activity, shut down your Facebook page, and then we will release your relatives.’
Later, in April the same year, a number of Teymurkhan’s relatives signed an appeal to President Ilham Aliyev disowning Teymurkhan and condemning his political activism. Signatories to the statement included the blogger’s brother and sisters.
P.S. This is a common situation for modern Azerbaijan. If you against Aliyev, you are the enemy of the whole country! If government cannot catch you because you are outside, they will do their best to do harm to your relatives.