Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 139

Lezgin "Sadval" activist and Russian citizen Nariman Ramazanov, arrested July 11 by Azerbaijan’s authorities, has been handed back to Russia, Azerbaijani national security minister Namig Abbasov announced yesterday. Abbasov did not name the reasons for this decision, only stating that Baku acted under the Russia-Azerbaijan legal assistance treaty and that the authorities of Dagestan had petitioned for Ramazanov’s release, promising to investigate him in coordination with Baku. In fact Lezgins in Dagestan forced the release of Ramazanov by seizing a Major and three sergeants of Azerbaijan’s border troops as hostages whom they then traded for their leader.

Azerbaijan had long accused Ramazanov of working with Armenian secret services in arming and training Sadval members in Dagestan for action against Azerbaijan. Ramazanov was also named as an accomplice in the 1994 Baku subway bombing which killed 14 and injured some 50 people, and for which two Sadval members were sentenced to death and 11 others to prison in a trial which ended two months ago. (Interfax, July 16)

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