PRESS-RELEASE, November 25, 2019
The Working Group (WG) on Unified List of Political Prisoners in Azerbaijan presents updated Unified List of Political Prisoners in Azerbaijan. The update covers the period until 25 November 2019.
Persons recognized as political prisoners
Based on documents obtained, court observations and interviews, the Woking Group has already recognized 112 people as political prisoners; they are:
– 5 journalists and bloggers (Araz Guliyev, Afgan Mukhtarlı, Elchin Ismayilli, Ziya Asadli, Polad Aslanov),
– 7 civil and political activists (Fuad Ahmadli, Orxan Bakhishli, Mirfeyzulla Seyidov, Saleh Rustamov, Agil Maharramov, Babak Hasanov, Pasha Umudov),
– 45 religious activists (Anar Aliyev, Sahil Rzayev, Niftali Valiyev, Taleh Baghirzade, Farhad Balayev, Jabbar Jabbarov, Ibrahim Khudaverdiyev, Agil Ismayilov, Etibar Ismayilov, Abbas Guliyev, Ali Nuriyev, Abbas Taghizade, Alibala Valiyev, Ramin Yariyev, Abbas Huseynov, Jahad Babakishizade, Bahruz Askarov, Zakir Mustafayev, Shamil Abdulaliyev, Aghaali Yahyayev, Elgun Akhundov, Vusal Alısh, Nahid Gahramanov, Alibey Shahbazov, Amirali Aliyev, Farhad Muradov, Seyfaddin Shirvanov, Isa Ibrahimov, Elkhan Isgandarov, Jabir Aliyev, Ramil Seyfullayev, Mubariz Ibrahimov, Eldar Bunyatov, Mehman Guliyev, Mehman Mammadov, Faig Allahverdiyev, Mahammadali Akhundzade, Ahsan Nuruzade, Dayanat Samadov, Firdovsi Mammadrzayev, Movsum Samadov, Rufulla Akhundzade, Faramiz Abbasov, Abgul Suleymanov, Sardar Babayev),
– 3 life prisoners (Elchin Amiraslanov, Arif Kazimov, Safa Poladov),
– 1 political hostage (Emin Saghiyev),
– 3 persons arrested within the case of Said Dadashbayli and his group (Said Dadashbayli, Jeyhun Aliyev, Jahangir Karimov).
– 48 persons arrested relating to “Ganja case” (Kamal Guliyev, Raul Suleymanov, Ulvi Hasanov, Vugar Allahverdiyev, Samir Ibrahimov, Khayal Gafarov, Ali Rzayev, Maarif Hajiyev, Shahlar Rzayev, Ruslan Hasanov, Tural Bayramov, Nizami Akbarov, Kamal Maharramov, Seymur Aliyev, Toghrul Verdiyev, Orkhan Yagnaliyev, Araz Hasanov, Vagif Ashrafov, Elvin Allahverdiyev, Elvin Nazarov, Renat Mammadov, Vugar Khudiyev, Elman Rustamov, Yaver Ismailzade, Zabil Mammadov, Ganbar Garazade, Isa Maharramzade, Aydin Rustamov, Alim Yusifov, Bakram Aliyev, Habib Gurbanov, Mirza Huseynov, Asif Javadov, Oktay Huseynzade, Urfan Mammadov, Huseyn Bayramov, Rauf Bayramov, Elshan Mammadov, Abbas Abbasov, Sabir Azizov, Gulmirza Nurzade, Riyad Nurizade, Fikrat Mirzaliyev, Eyruz Hajiyev, Sabuhi Rajabov, Elman Guliyev, Jabir Azizov, Agshin Asgarov).
The Working Group is monitoring trials and documents of 11 more prisoners. Most of them are citizens who had been arrested in relation with 10 July 2018 peaceful protest in Ganja. The list of cases under monitoring are:
– 1 journalist (Shafag Aghajanova)
– 9 persons arrested relating to “Ganja case” (Firudin Zeynalov, Orkhan Huseynov, Sakhavat Ahmadov, Rasim Heydarov, Mirmajid Abbasov, Ariz Feyzi-Zade, Elmir Mammadov, Nofal Mammadov, Eltun Aliyev)
– 1 “others” (Renad Aliyev)
Those released after the last update
Since the latest update of the Political Prisoners list by the Working Group on 03 September 2019, 8 persons have been released from custody. 5 persons (Shahin Verdiyev, Elmir Huseynzade, Vugar Yusifov, Emil Mammadov, Aliabbas Rustamov) were released by the court decisions, 3 persons (Rza Aghali, Ziya Tahirov, Asif Yusifli) were released as they served their whole prison term. Eshgin Guliyev, a prisoner on the Ganja Case, died in prison. He suffered from AİDS and Hepatit C.
Those recognized as political prisoners after the last update
Since the latest update of the Political Prisoners list by the Working Group on 20 February 2019, 2 persons (Pasha Umudov and Agshin Asgarov) were recognized as political prisoners and added to the List.
The visit of the PACE rapporteur on Political Prisoners in Azerbaijan
On 5-8 September 2019 Sunna Thorhildur Ævarsdóttir, rapporteur on ‘reported cases of political prisoners in Azerbaijan’, has made three-day fact-finding visit to the country. During her visit the rapporteur met with political prisoners Taleh Bagirzade, Abbas Huseynov, Afgan Mukhtarli and Said Dadashbayli. She has also met with human rights defenders, including members of the Working Group, as well as lawyers, journalists, civil society activists and government officials. In her statement on conclusions of the visit, the rapporteur informed that her report will be finalized and submitted to the PACE Legal Affairs Committee by the end of this year. The Working Group has been in constant contact with the rapporteur’s office during the preparation of the report.
Politically motivated administrative arrests
Although only two persons had been added to the list of Political Prisoners during the reported period, the number of politically motivated arrests exceeded this number by dozens times. During the past period the number of administrative arrests which are used as an alternativ punitive measure against government critics increased drastically.
At least 40 activists had been detained or arrested before and in aftermath of 19 October 2019 peaceful protest of opposition, while dozens were released with fines. These arrests were made under different trumped up excuses, however, political motivation of those were openly expressed in statements of Ministry of Interior and other government officials. In the past year only, more than one hundred activists had been subjected to administrative arrests for their political activism.
The Working Group states that politically motivated administrative arrests have become endemic in Azerbaijan and calls international community to use their authority to end this practice aimed at suppressing fundamental freedom of assembly.
The Working Group on Unified List
of Political Prisoners