Azerbaijan blames party leader's aide for distributing Gulen's ideas

Azerbaijan blames party leader's aide for distributing Gulen's ideas
Three days after the detention of the aide to the leader of the People's Front of Azerbaijan Party, the law-enforcement agencies issued a statement to this end. In a joint press release, the Prosecutor-General's Office, the Interior Ministry and the State Security Service said that Faiq Amirov was arrested within a criminal case to prevent the illegal actions of the Hizmet [Service] movement of Fethullah Gulen. The investigation has revealed that "this movement has spread in Azerbaijan the idea of social, religious hatred and enmity, the restriction of the rights of citizens," the statement reads.

In particular, "texts of Fethullah Gulen's speeches, documents about members of the Gulen community" and "imams of Hizmet", data storage devices were found at an apartment of Fuad Ahmadli, an operator of the mobile company Azerfon and the chairman of the Xatai district youth organization of the People's Front of Azerbaijan Party. The State Committee for Work with Religious Organizations has "found in these material evidence calls for social, religious hatred and enmity, humiliation of ethnic dignity".

"The investigation has also established that the aide to the party chairman, Faiq Amirov, using his position as the financial director of Azadliq newspaper for personal gain, together with his like-minded people in the Hizmet movement was suspected of maintaining connections with people, whose names are on the list of "imams of Hizmet", the statement said.

Books promoting Gulen's ideas, inciting social or religious hatred were found on him. He is being suspected of distributing these materials through electronic media. A search in Amirov's car revealed three books on Gulen, whose import into the country requires a relevant permit, eight discs with his sermons. Two plastic bags with the invoices of Azadliq newspaper, information carriers were found and confiscated from his apartment, the Prosecutor-General's Office reports.

Amirov has been charged under Articles 168.1 (infringement of the rights of citizens under the pretext of performing religious rites) and 283.2.2 (incitement of ethnic, racial or religious hatred by a person using his position). He has been taken into custody.

To identify foreign relations of the Hizmet movement in Azerbaijan, sources of funding and other specifics, the prosecutor's office of Azerbaijan has appealed to the Turkish authorities with a view to carry out an investigation on the territory of that country, the statement said at the end.