Human rights activists claim the move is Baku's latest attempt to clamp down on those who don't march to its own drumbeat. The government counters that it's got the goods for the charge, but is not elaborating at length.
The footage, which ranked as the seventh most-watched YouTube video as of July 5, shows a rural wedding party with performers exchanging barbs and verses to a lively drumbeat -- traditional meykhana style -- in a hodgepodge of Azeri, Russian and Talysh .
The refrain, drawled in heavily accented Russian -- Ты кто такой? Давай, до свидания! ("Who do you think you are?! Get a move on, good-bye!") -- became an Internet meme, going viral via Twitter and Facebook throughout the post-Soviet world.
The good-bye part was quickly picked up by Azerbaijani and Russian political dissidents eager to say “до свидания” to Presidents Ilham Aliyev and Vladimir Putin, respectively.
Hilal Mammadov, the individual who uploaded the video, was arrested last month, initially on charges of heroin possession that on July 4 somehow morphed into accusations of high treason, and stirring up disorder. Mammadov is the editor of Talysh Voice, a newspaper in Azerbaijan's minority Talysh language, and often has criticized the authoritarian-inclined Azerbaijani government for ignoring ethnic minorities.
Human rights groups in Azerbaijan and Russia spoke up for Mammadov and described the charges against him as fabricated and politically motivated; complaints which have now become a recurring theme with the government's recurring arrests of Azerbaijani journalists.
Rights activists also pointed out that while the Azerbaijani government spent the equivalent of tens of millions of dollars on the May 2012 Eurovision Song Contest to popularize Azerbaijan, the "Ты кто такой? Давай, до свидания!" video brought popularity to Azerbaijan for free.