Azerbaijan: Is Taleh Bagir-zade Baku’s Sheikh Al-Nimr?

Outspoken Shia cleric Taleh Bagir-zade (also known as Bagirov), who already served a 2.5-year sentence on illegal drug possession charges, was recently arrested again ostensibly for his role in the recent deadly clashes in Nardaran between police and activists of the Muslim Unity Movement of Azerbaijan. The religious scholar and activist was arrested the first time in March 2013, a week after sharply criticized the government in his Friday sermon in a mosque. (Photo: Azadliq Radiosu/RFE/RL)

The Muslim world continues to reverberate from the shock created by Saudi Arabia’s early January execution of Baqr al-Nimr, a dissident Shia cleric. Meanwhile, another outspoken Shia cleric, Taleh Bagir-zade, sits behind bars in Azerbaijan.
 

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Eldar Mamedov is a political adviser to the Socialists & Democrats Group in the European Parliament. He writes in his personal capacity.

Azerbaijan: Is Taleh Bagir-zade Baku’s Sheikh Al-Nimr?

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