Case of Sardar Babayev v. Azerbaijan, (Applications nos. 34015/17 and 26896/18)

A selection of key paragraphs can be found below the judgment.


42. The Court notes that in Natig Jafarov (cited above, §§ 37-41), having examined an identical complaint based on similar facts, it found that the applicant’s confinement in a metal cage during the appeal hearing concerning his pre-trial detention had amounted to degrading treatment. The Court considers that the analysis and finding it made in Natig Jafarov also apply to the present case and sees no reason to deviate from that finding.’

43. There has therefore been a violation of Article 3 of the Convention.’

49. As regards the period to be taken into consideration for the purposes of Article 5 § 3, the Court notes that this period commenced on 22 February 2017, when the applicant was arrested, and ended on 3 July 2017, when the Masalli District Court convicted him. Thus, the applicant was held in pre-trial detention for four months and eleven days in total.

50. The Court observes that the domestic courts, in their decisions on the applicant’s detention, used a standard template and limited themselves to repeating a number of grounds for detention in an abstract and stereotyped way, without giving any reasons why they considered those grounds relevant to the applicant’s case. They also failed to mention any case-specific facts relevant to those grounds and to substantiate them with relevant and sufficient reasons. The Court has repeatedly found violations of Article 5 § 3 in previous Azerbaijani cases where similar shortcomings were noted and analysed in detail (see, among others, Farhad Aliyev v. Azerbaijan, no. 37138/06, §§ 191-94, 9 November 2010; Muradverdiyev v. Azerbaijan, no. 16966/06, §§ 87-91, 9 December 2010; and Zayidov v. Azerbaijan, no. 11948/08, §§ 64-68, 20 February 2014). The Court also cannot accept the Government’s submissions that the domestic courts had taken account of the fact that the applicant had a long-lasting and established connection with Iran and had expressed his wish to travel there, since the domestic courts’ decisions did not refer to any such considerations in their reasoning, nor did they provide any explanation or information in that connection (see Azizov and Novruzlu v. Azerbaijan, nos. 65583/13 and 70106/13, § 58, 18 February 2021).

51. In view of the foregoing considerations, the Court finds that the legal issue raised in the present case under Article 5 § 3 of the Convention is of a repetitive nature and it does not see any fact or argument capable of persuading it to reach a different conclusion. Therefore, the Court considers that the authorities failed to give “relevant” and “sufficient” reasons to justify the need for the applicant’s pre-trial detention.

52. Accordingly, there has been a violation of Article 5 § 3 of the Convention.



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