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Niyamaddin Aslanzade is illegally jailed

NIYAMADDIN ASLANZADE IS ILLEGALLY JAILED

Baku City Narimanov District Court

Analysis of violation of law during Niyamaddin Aslanzade’s judicial proceedings

Baku City Narimanov District Court

Case №3(005)-1905/2021

26 August 2021

Judge: Vusal Qurbanov

Administrative case initiated against: Niyamaddin Aslanzade

Defender: Intiqam Hasanov

Plaintiff: Faiq Suleymanov, the Head of the 18th Police Station in the Baku Narimanov District Police Department

Polad Aslanov, the founder and editor-in-chief of www.xeberman.org and www.press-az.com, was arrested in June 2019 and sentenced to 16 years imprisonment on charges of state treason on 16 November 2020.

The information regarding his arrest and the legal analysis of the unjustified sentence is available on the IPD’s website:

https://www.ipd-az.org/journalist-polad-aslanov-was-accused-in-high-treason/

https://www.ipd-az.org/polad-aslanv/ 

But the family’ s troubles didn’t seem to stop at this point. On 26 August 2021, his brother Niyamaddin Aslanzade, born in 1991, suddenly disappeared.  Polad Aslanov’s wife, Gulmira Aslanova, commented on her brother-in-law’ disappearance:

My brother-in-law was told that there was a complaint against him received from the Ombudsman’s Office. A few months ago, when my husband started his hunger strike, Niyamaddin went to the Ombudsman’s Office and expressed anger about the fact that no one seemed interested about his brother’s health. Niyamaddin suffers from a neurosis and could not control his emotions over the injustice against his brother. Later, he apologised for his own emotional outbursts. We also apologised for his behaviour.  On 26 August he disappeared. We could not find out about his whereabouts. We called the MIA’s 102 service. On 27 August his mother was told that Niyamaddin had been detained for 15 days. And today, when I was in the 18th Police Station, they told me that he had been arrested for 5 days, but they did not specify why and under what article. The Court was closed, and we could not obtain a court order.

She also indicated that her brother-in-law’s rights had been violated, as he had not been allowed to call his family upon detention and the lawyer of his choice had not been permitted to see him.

More detailed information about arrest of Niyamaddin Aslanzade see here:

https://www.turan.az/ext/news/2021/8/free/Social/en/7209.htm

The administrative report was drawn up according to the Article 510 (Petty hooliganism) of the Code of Administrative Offences of the Azerbaijan Republic. In the course of the trial, Niyamaddin Aslanzade testified that he had been suffering from a nervous breakdown and felt angry because of the lack of any attention to his brother Polad Aslanov who was starving in detention, and therefore spoke harshly to the hotline staff of the Ombudsman’s Office.

On 26 August 2021, the Baku City Narimanov District Court found Niyamaddin Aslanzade guilty of committing an administrative offence and sentenced him to 5 days of detention.

 

Commentary by expert lawyer:

The court verdict is unlawful and unjustified. In this case, attention should be paid to the article on which Niyamaddin Aslanzade was found guilty. The Article 510 of the Code of Administrative Offences of the Azerbaijan Republic states:

Disorderly conduct, i.e. behaviour that violates public order but is not accompanied by the use or threat of force against individuals or the destruction or damage of property, is punishable by a fine of between 50 and 100 manats, depending on the circumstances of the case and the identity of the offender; if these measures are not sufficient, then the offender is subject to administrative detention for a period of up to fifteen days.

 

As mentioned above, Niyamaddin Aslanzade called the Ombudsman’s Office hotline and asked why his brother Polad Aslanov’s serious condition was being ignored. The Article on petty hooliganism stipulates actions that violate public order. You can only violate public order in the public places attended by people. A phone call cannot be considered a violation of public order. Consequently, no violation of public order is at issue.

There was no evidence in the case file that Niyamaddin Aslanzade had grossly insulted the staff of the Ombudsman’s Office. The police did not provide either any of that evidence or any proof from the Ombudsman’s Office.

Another important point is the sentencing. The Court sentenced Niyamaddin Aslanzade to 5 days of administrative detention, having completely failed to justify the choice of this type of punishment. The court also failed to justify why Niyamaddin Aslanzade had not been subjected to a measure unrelated to the arrest, for example, a fine.

The groundlessness of the judgment and the incorrect qualification of the act resulted in a violation of the Right to Freedom regulated by the Article 28 of the Constitution of the Azerbaijan Republic.

The Right to Freedom is enshrined not only in the Azerbaijani National Legislation but also in the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. For example, the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms states in the Article 5 (1):

  1. Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be deprived of his liberty save in the following cases and in accordance with a procedure prescribed by law:

(c) the lawful arrest or detention of a person effected for the purpose of bringing him before the competent legal authority on reasonable suspicion of having committed an offence or when it is reasonably considered necessary to prevent his committing an offence or fleeing after having done so.

The Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

The Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights also prohibits arbitrary arrest and unlawful detention. By proclaiming the Right to Freedom, these articles mean personal liberty in its classical sense, that is, the individual’s physical freedom.

A number of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) prohibit arbitrary arrest. For example, the judgment of the European Court in Lawless vs Ireland on 1 July 1961, states:

The purpose of the Convention is ‘to protect freedom’ and security of persons from unlawful arrest and detention.

See: http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/app/conversion/pdf/?library=ECHR&id=001-57516&filename=001-57516.pdf&TID=epcmxtpacx

The ECHR judgment in the case of Bozano vs France from December 18,  1986, states:

The Convention refers principally to compliance with the national law but, in addition, requires any measure of deprivation of liberty to be compatible with the objective of the Article 5: to protect the individual against arbitrariness (…). This concerns not only the “right to liberty”, but also the “right to personal integrity.

See: https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/sites/eng/pages/search.aspx?i=001-57448

Thus, a State, which is a member of the Council of Europe and is bound by the standards of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, has violated the Right to Freedom and Personal Integrity in the case of Niyamaddin Aslanzade by means of the police and judicial authorities actions.

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No azerbaijani citizens are protected against falsified accusations

NO AZERBAIJANI CITIZENS ARE PROTECTED AGAINST FALSIFIED ACCUSATIONS

Baku Court of Appeal

Analysis of violation of law at the trial of the Azerbaijan citizens accused of terrorist offences

Baku Court of Appeal

Case №1(103)-1112/2021

9 August 2021

Presiding judge: Ilqar Murguzov

Judges: Habil Mammadov, Hasan Ahmadov

 

Defendants: Samir Qurbanov, Amin Hasanov, Aflatun Bayramov, Babak Mammadli, Tehran Qasimov, Elgun Ismayilov, Aladdin Ibishev, Yusif Imanov, Orkhan Qurbanov, Shahriyar Jabbarov, Javid Amanov

Defenders: Babak Hamidov, Elchin Sadiqov, Eynulla Valiyev, Sudaba Aliyeva, Vali Valiyev, Azer Naqiyev 

The Public Prosecutor: Emil Mirzoyev, a prosecutor of the Support Public Prosecution Department at the Courts of Appeal under the AR Prosecutor General’s Office

 

A citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic, born in 1988 in the Qazakh district of Azerbaijan, Samir Qurbanov,previously not convicted, against whom a preventive measure of custody had been imposed as of 9 May 2019, was arrested on charges of committing offences under the following Articles of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic:

  • 167-2.2.1 (Production, import with the purpose of sale or distribution, sale or distribution of literature, religious objects and other informational materials of religious content without relevant permission, committed by a group of persons upon a preliminary conspiracy or by an organized group);
  • 167-2.2.2 (Production, import with the purpose of sale or distribution, sale or distribution of literature, religious objects and other informational materials of religious content without relevant permission, committed more than once);
  • 167-3.1 (Manufacture, storage or distribution of religious extremist materials, i.e. materials calling for the implementation of religious extremist activities or justifying such activity, either justifying the need for such activities);
  • 28,214.2.1 (Preparation for terrorism committed by an organized criminal group);
  • 28, 214.2.6 (Preparation of terrorism committed on the base of religious enmity, religious radicalism or religious fanaticism);
  • 214-1 (Financing of terrorism);
  • 1 (Creation of criminal community (criminal organization) for commitment minor serious or serious crimes);
  • 283-1.1 (Involvement of citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan or stateless persons permanently residing in the Republic of Azerbaijan, to armed conflicts outside the Republic of Azerbaijan with a purpose to disseminate religious teachings, under the pretence of performing religious rites, or due to religious animosity, religious radicalism and religious fanaticism or conducting military exercises for this purpose, or creation of stable group for this purpose and management of such group).

Amin Hasanov, born in 1993 in the Tovuz district of Azerbaijan, a citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic, previously not convicted, against whom, on 9 May 2019, it was imposed a preventive measure of detention, was arrested on charges of committing offences under the Articles 167-2.2.1, 167-2.2.2, 167-3.1, 28,214.2.1, 28,214.2.6, 214-1 and 218.2 (Participation in criminal community (criminal organization) or in association of organizers, heads or other representatives of the organized groups) of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic.

Aflatun Bayramov, born in 1993 in the Tovuz district of Azerbaijan, a citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic, previously not convicted, against whom, on 9 May 2019, it was imposed a preventive measure of detention, was arrested on charges of committing offences under the Articles 167-3.1, 28,214.2.1, 28,214.2.6 and 218.2 of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic.

Babak Mammadli, born in 1980 in Fuzuli City of Azerbaijan, a citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic, previously not convicted, against whom, on 9 May 2019, it was imposed a preventive measure of detention, was arrested on charges of committing offences under the Articles 167-3.1, 214-1 and 218.2 (Participation in criminal community (criminal organization) or in association of organizers, heads or other representatives of the organized groups) of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic.

Tehran Qasimov, born in 1991 in the Tovuz district of Azerbaijan, a citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic, previously not convicted, against whom, on 9 May 2019, it was imposed a preventive measure of detention, was arrested on charges of committing offences under the Articles 167-2.2.1, 167-2.2.2, 167-3.1, 214.1 and 218.2 of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic.

Elgun Ismayilov, born in 1995 in the Tovuz district of Azerbaijan, a citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic, previously not convicted, against whom, on 8 June 2019, it was imposed a preventive measure of detention, was arrested on charges of committing offences under the Articles 167-3.1, 218.2 and 28,283-1.3 (Involvement of citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan or stateless persons permanently residing in the Republic of Azerbaijan, to armed conflicts outside the Republic of Azerbaijan with a purpose to disseminate religious teachings, under the pretence of performing religious rites, or due to religious animosity, religious radicalism and religious fanaticism or conducting military exercises for this purpose, or creation of stable group for this purpose and management of such group) of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic.

Aladdin Ibishev, born in 1993 in the Tovuz district of Azerbaijan, a citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic, previously not convicted, against whom, on 16 September 2019, it was imposed a preventive measure of detention, was arrested on charges of committing offences under the Articles 218.2 and 28,283-1.3 of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic.

Yusif Imanov, born in 1985 in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan, a citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic, previously not convicted, against whom, on 10 May 2019, it was imposed a preventive measure of detention, was arrested on charges of committing offences under the Articles 167-3.1 and 218.2 of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic.

Orkhan Qurbanov, born in 1987 in Baku City, a citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic, previously not convicted, against whom, on 9 May 2019, it was imposed a preventive measure of detention, was arrested on charges of committing offences under the Articles 167-3.1 and 218.2 of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic.

Shariyar Jabbarov, born in 1996 in the Khanlar district of Azerbaijan, a citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic, previously not convicted, against whom, on 20 August 2019, it was imposed a preventive measure of detention, was arrested on charges of committing offences under the Articles 218.2 and 218-1.3 of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic.

Javad Amanov, born in 1977 in Ali-Bayramly City (today – Shirvan City) of Azerbaijan, a citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic, previously not convicted, against whom, on 4 May 2019, it was imposed a preventive measure of detention, was arrested on charges of committing offences under the Articles 167-3.1, 214-1 and 218.2 of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic.

According to the investigation, Samir Qurbanov formed a criminal group, which included the accused, and headed it in order to attract Azerbaijani citizens outside the Republic to the armed conflicts on the grounds of religious radicalism, enmity and fanaticism. The aim of the criminal group was to commit terrorist acts in order to cause harm to people and spread panic and terror among them. Some of their crimes could not be accomplished due to the reasons beyond their control.

On 4 May 2021, the Baku Court of Serious Crimes issued a verdict against the defendants. All of them were declared guilty of the charges brought against them and sentenced:

  • Samir Qurbanov to a period of 8 years’ imprisonment with serving his sentence in a strict regime colony;
  • Amin Hasanov to a period of 7 years’ imprisonment with serving his sentence in a strict regime colony;
  • Aflatun Bayramov to a period of 7 years’ imprisonment with serving his sentence in a strict regime colony;
  • Babak Mammadli to a period of 7 years’ imprisonment with serving his sentence in a strict regime colony;
  • Tehran Qasimov to a period of 5 years’ imprisonment with serving his sentence in a strict regime colony;
  • Elgun Ismayilov to a period of 2 years and 6 months’ imprisonment with serving his sentence in a strict regime colony;
  • Aladdin Ibishev to a period of 2 years and 6 months’ imprisonment with serving his sentence in a strict regime colony;
  • Yusif Imanov to a period of 2 years and 6 months’ imprisonment with serving his sentence in a strict regime colony;
  • Orkhan Qurbanov to a period of 2 years and 6 months’ imprisonment with serving his sentence in a strict regime colony;
  • Shahriyar Jabbarov to a period of 2 years and 6 months’ imprisonment with serving his sentence in a strict regime colony;
  • Javid Amanov to a period of 2 years and 6 months’ imprisonment with serving his sentence in a strict regime colony.

The lawyers of Samir Qurbanov, Amin Hasanov, Aflatun Bayramov, Tehran Qasimov, Elgun Ismayilov, Aladdin Ibishev and Babak Mammadli have appealed against the verdict.

On 9 August 2021, the Baku Court of Appeal ruled on the case: the defence lawyers’ complaints were not granted by the court and the sentence of the Baku Court of Serious Crimes imposed on 4 May 2021, was not altered.

Commentary by expert lawyer:

The court verdict is unlawful and unjustified. In the course of the investigation and trials, Samir Qurbanov’s testimonies were inconsistent. While he admitted the responsibility for the offence during the investigation, he retracted this testimony at the trial. The trial and appeal courts regarded his contradictory testimonies as defensive in nature. The court ruling stated that the defendant’s intent was to avoid responsibility. The same happened with the testimony of some witness. Thus, the witnesses Shakhmar Salimov, Elchin Jafarov, Qabil Qasimov, Ali Aliyev, Rahil Nasirli, Tural Abdiyev and some others testified both at the investigation and the trial. However, their testimonies during the investigation and in the curse of trial were dramatically differed. The courts interpreted the witnesses’ testimonies as follows: the testimony provided during the investigation was credible, and the ones delivered at trial were of a defensive nature. These witnesses testified in a manner identical to that of the defendants. The courts did not explain the reasoning behind such a conclusion. It was explained by the lawyers that the witnesses and defendants had been in a freer and more independent position at the trial and therefore their testimonies were also free and independent than those given at the investigation, where they could presumably have been under pressure and control of the law-enforcement officers, i.e. the prosecution.

The irrefutability of the evidence must not be questioned, the different pieces of evidence for the same episode must validate and complement one another, and must be considered as a whole. The court did not examine the criminal case in a comprehensive, complete and objective manner.

Throughout the trial, the defendants’ lawyers filed various motions with the court in order to establish the accuracy and truth in the case. However, none of the submittes motions were satisfied by the court or they were abandoned without consideration.

According to the Article 121.2 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Azerbaijan Republic, reasons shall be given for the decision taken on an application or request, together with an assessment of the applicant’s arguments. Applications and requests for any matters connected with the prosecution to be examined thoroughly, fully and objectively under the required legal procedure, and for the violated rights and legal interests of the parties to the criminal proceedings and of other participants in the proceedings to be restored, may not be rejected.

The question of motions is also regulated by the Articles 323.5 and 323.6 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Azerbaijan Republic. According to the Article 323.5, the court shall allow applications submitted under Article 323.1 of this Code in the following circumstances:

  • 5.1. if the purpose of the application is the examination of all circumstances that may be of significance for a thorough, full and objective investigation of all matters connected with the criminal prosecution;
  • 5.2. if information and documents whose evidential value is in dispute were obtained by significantly violating requirements of this Code and other laws of the Azerbaijan Republic.

According to the Article 323.6 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Azerbaijan Republic, if the court dismisses an application, it shall give a reasoned decision on this matter. Applications that have been dismissed may be resubmitted depending on the further examination of the case.

The verdict states that the defendants have cooperated with the terrorist organizations but there are no documents signed by the defendants that can prove such cooperation. Not a single one in the case file.

According to the Article 21.2 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Azerbaijan Republic, even if there are reasonable suspicions as to the guilt of the person, this shall not cause the latter to be found guilty. The accused (the suspect) shall receive the benefit of any doubts which cannot be removed in the process of proving the charge in accordance with the provisions of this Code, within the appropriate legal proceedings. He shall likewise receive the benefit of any doubts which are not removed in the application of criminal law and criminal procedure legislation.

 

The Article 145.3 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Azerbaijan Republic states, that if suspicions which emerge during the process of proving the charge cannot be removed by other evidence, they shall be interpreted in favour of the suspect or accused. The credibility of the charges is in doubt, and these doubts must be determined in the defendants’ favour. The defense lawyers repeatedly demanded proof of the defendants’ guilt, but they were unable to obtain any.

If the prosecution has failed to prove the defendants’ guilt, the court must grant the acquittal and release the defendants.

In the Article 42 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Azerbaijan Republic noted grounds for acquittal:

  • if no criminal act has been committed;
  • if the act has no criminal content;
  • if there is no link with the offence committed;
  • if guilt is not proven;
  • if the jury delivers a verdict of not guilty.

The Article 41.4 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Azerbaijan Republic states:

If the court finds circumstances which preclude criminal prosecution before the beginning of the court hearing, it shall suggest that the public prosecutor decide on the question of withdrawing the prosecution of the accused.

The Article 326.1 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Azerbaijan Republic states:

When starting the questioning, the president shall propose that the accused give evidence on the charge brought against him and on other circumstances of significance for the thorough, full and objective examination of the charge.

The court, in the commented criminal case, offered the defendants to testify, but they refused to do so at the initial stage and stated that they would testify after the evidence examination. In the verdict, the court specified that the defendants had refused to testify at all. After examining the evidence, the court concluded proceedings and asked the parties to proceed to closing arguments, thereby depriving the defendants of the opportunity to testify. The denial of testimony at the initial stage was interpreted to the defendants’ disadvantage. Though, according to the Article 324.3.6 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Azerbaijan Republic, such a refusal of the accused cannot be interpreted to their detriment.

The prosecution and the verdict stated that the accused allegedly used a secret software Theema ID while communicating with members of terrorist organizations. However, an expertise found that no such a software was detected on the mobile phones they owned.

The court also referred to various certificates issued by the AR State Security Service, which did not have any relevant sources. These certificates were accepted as evidence in the case by the court.

Partiality, bias of the court violated the right to a fair trial guaranteed by the Article 6(1) of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. According to this article, in the determination of his civil rights and obligations or of any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law. The court violated the principle of a fair trial by an independent and impartial tribunal

In the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in the case of Ferrantelli and Santangelo vs Italy on 7 August 1996, it is stated “… What is at stake is the confidence which the courts in a democratic society must inspire in the public. This implies that in deciding whether in a given case there is a legitimate reason to fear that a particular judge lacks impartiality, the perception of the accused is important but not decisive. What is decisive is whether this fear can be held to be objectively justified”. See: https://www.bailii.org/eu/cases/ECHR/1996/29.html

The court, by failing to examine the criminal case thoroughly, comprehensively and objectively, violated one of the fundamental human rights, the right to a fair trial.

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The guilt of those sentenced to long terms of imprisonment was not proven at the trial

THE GUILT OF THOSE SENTENCED TO LONG TERMS OF IMPRISONMENT WAS NOT PROVEN AT THE TRIAL

Yunis Safarov

Analysis of violation of law during Yunis Safarov’s and 11 other defendants’ trial

Baku Grave Crimes Court

Case №1(101)-128/2021

16 August 2021

 Presiding judge: Afgan Hajiyev

 Judges: Ali Mammadov, Telman Huseynov

Defendants: Yunis Safarov, Mahir Azizov, Hamlet Abdullayev, Akif Aliyev, Rasim Mustafayev, Jeyhun Qurbanov, Firudin Zeynalov, Jafar Zalov, Vugar Mammadov, Jeyhun Salakhov, Anar Bagirov, Agha Sarkhani

Defenders: Bakhtiyar Hajiyev, Aziz Qanbarov, Javad Javadov, Allahverdi Sadigli, Zohrab Askarov, Telman Aliyev, Musa Hasanov, Musa Aliyev, Fariz Namazli, Babak Hamidov, Vamif Shukurov, Ilqar Rustamov, Zubeida Sadigova

An Analysis of Offences at Yunis Safarov’s and 11 other defendants’ Trial                               

State prosecutors: Vugar Guliyev, Huseyn Rustamli, the Prosecutors of the Department of Public Prosecutions of the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Azerbaijan Republic 

Victims: Elmar Valiyev, Qasim Ashbazov, Elshan Nasibov, Natiq Ahmadov, Elshan Suleymanov, Iftikhar Rustamov

Representative and attorney of victim Elmar Valiyev: Fakhraddin Safarov

The successor of the murdered defendant Ana Bagirov: his sister, Aynur Bagirova

The successor of the murdered defendant Agha Sarkhani: his spouse, Sevinj Sarkhani

On 3 July 2018, at around 8.30 PM, it was committed an armed attempt on the Head of the Executive Authority of the city, Elmar Valiyev. The incident took place in the city of Ganja. At the scene of the crime, the police detained a suspect, Yunis Safarov, a Russian citizen, who seriously wounded not only the Head of the Ganja City Executive but also his bodyguard, Qasim Ashbazov.

On 4 July 2018, the media circulated photographs of Yunis Safarov lying on the floor with the traces of torture and beatings. The origin of these photographs is still unknown. The investigating authorities denied any connection with the photos, whereas unofficial sources talked about a variety of versions of the photos’ origins. The first version was that Yunis Safarov was beaten up by Elmir Valiyev, son of the Head of the Ganja Executive Authority. According to the second version, Yunis Safarov was beaten and tortured by Sarkhan Ismayilov, the Head of the Criminal Investigation Department, and by Qorkhmaz Ibrahimov, the Chief Operative Officer of the Ganja Police Headquarters. Sarkhan Ismayilov, who filmed the beating on his own phone, sent the photos to Elmir Valiyev, the son of Elmar Valiyev. Elmir Valiyev then distributed the photos on social media in order to threaten the public.

On 10 July 2018, a protest rally took place in the center of Ganja in the course of which Colonel Ilqar Balakishiyev, Deputy Head of the Ganja Main Police Department, and Lieutenant Colonel Samad Abasov, the Deputy Head of the Nizami District Police Department of Ganja, were killed. Farrukh Qasimov was one of the first detainees whose fate is still unknown. The organizers of the action were never identified.

On 13 July 2018, as a result of an operation conducted by the law enforcement officials, Rashad Boyukkishiyev was killed. It was him who was accused in the murder of the Colonel Ilqar Balakishiyev on the square.

On 21 July 2018, Anar Bagirov, previously put on the wanted list and hiding in the territory of Khojasan settlement in Binagadi district, was killed whilst rendering an armed resistance. Anar Bagirov was the accused person in this criminal case.

On 25 July 2018, Agha Sarkhani, a resident of Ganja and member of the Muslim Unity Movement, was shot dead by the security personnel. According to the law enforcement agencies, Agha Sarkhani had put up a fight in the course of his arrest by the armed force. He is also being charged in the criminal case. The media circulated a photo of the killed Agha Sarkhani lying with a gun in his right hand, although in reality he was left-handed.

Fuad Samadov was shot dead on 28 July 2018, during another special law enforcement operation in the city of Samukh. According to the law enforcement authorities, F. Samadov was also killed while offering gunfire resistance and was one of the active members of a “radical religious group”, as well as a rioting participant in Ganja.

On 10 August 2018, the Sumgayit City police killed Muraz Rahimov. According to the law enforcement authorities, he was also a member of a radical religious group and was killed while resisting armed force during a special police operation in Sumgait. Muraz Rahimov had previously been arrested for protesting against the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest in Baku.

For more information on the listed above murders and the mentioned photos of Yunis Safarov, are on the IPD’s website:

https://www.ipd-az.org/aliyevs-regime-is-carrying-out-repressions-by-imitating-the-fight-with-islamic-terrorism/

The Azerbaijan General Prosecutor held a briefing in connection with the events in Ganja, at which he announced the indictment of 77 people involved in the Ganja events. 13 people have been put on the wanted list. As a result of the operational search activities, five of the above-mentioned individuals were eliminated.

Elchin Sadigov known as a lawyer leading “sensitive cases” and being a lawyer of the arrested Yunis Safarov who in his turn was accused of committing an assassination attempt against Elmar Valiyev, the Head of the Ganja City Executive, has been suspended from defending Yunis Safarov following a complaint by the Penitentiary Service of the Azerbaijan Republic’s Ministry of Justice. The Prison Service’s ruling stated that the lawyer had allegedly encouraged his client, Yunis Safarov, to file a complaint about his torture. The lawyer denies that and considers the ruling unlawful and unfounded. The Russian lawyer Yevgeniy Sherbatov was also prevented of defending Yunus Safarov.

For more information are on the IPD’s website:

https://www.ipd-az.org/prosecutor-generals-office-of-azerbaijan-left-yunis-safarov-without-a-lawyer/

On 10 July 2018 the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the State Security Service of Azerbaijan issued a joint report stating that a group of approximately 150-200 radical believers attempted to grossly violate public order at around 8pm on July 10, 2018. Those people disregarded the police warnings, committed unlawful actions and resisted the police officers, inflicting bodily injuries with blunt and stabbing tools. The statement also said that the police managed to detain about 40 people at the scene, while the other protesters successfully escaped. The law enforcers expressed regret over the two killed policemen on the square.

 

The detainees were brought to the Ganja City Police Headquarters. It was opened a criminal case under the Articles 120.2.3 (Deliberate murder of a victim in connection with implementation of a given person of service activity or performance of public debt), 120.2.7 (Deliberate murder of two or more persons), 220.1 (Mass disorders), 221.3 (Hooliganism committed with application of a weapon or subjects, used as the weapon) and 228.4 (Illegal acquisition, selling or carrying of gas weapon, cold steel, including throwing weapon, except for districts where carrying of a cold steel is an accessory of a national suit or connected to hunting) of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic.

The criminal case was divided into several parts, and the courts hearing was conducted separately for each croup case. Those detained at the protest were given lengthy sentences ranging from 4 to 20 years imprisonment.

Analyses of the previous trials are posted on the IPD’s website:

https://www.ipd-az.org/eight-more-citizens-were-convicted-on-so-called-ganja-case/

https://www.ipd-az.org/six-more-citizens-were-convicted-on-so-called-ganja-case/

https://www.ipd-az.org/seven-more-citizens-were-convicted-on-so-called-ganja-case/

https://www.ipd-az.org/ganja-city-court-on-grave-crimes-passed-a-sentence-on-11-defendants-on-so-called-ganja-case/

The last group hearing was a case against Yunis Safarov. In addition to Safarov, there were also 11 others, two of whom (Anar Bagirov and Agha Sarkhani) were killed by the security services in the course of the special operation as it was described above.

Yunis Safarov, born in 1983 in the city of Ganja, a citizen of the Russian Federation, was detained on 3 July 2018. On 4 July 2018, the court issued against Safarov a measure of restraint in the form of detention for a period of 4 months. He was charged under the articles:

    • • 29,120.2.1 (Attempt of deliberate murder committed by group of persons, on preliminary arrangement by group of persons, by organized group or criminal community);
      • 29,120.2.3 (Attempt of deliberate murder of a victim in connection with implementation of a given person of service activity or performance of public debt);
      • 29, 120.2.4 (Attempt of deliberate murder committed with special cruelty or in publicly dangers way);
      • 29, 120.2.6 (Attempt of deliberate murder committed with the purpose to hide other crime or to facilitate its commitment, as well as connected with rape or other violent actions of sexual nature);
      • 29,120.2.7 (Attempt of deliberate murder of two or more persons);
      • 29,120.2.10 (Attempt of deliberate murder committed repeatedly);
    • • 29, 120.2.11 (Attempt of deliberate murder connected to robbery, extortion, terrorism or gangsters);
    • • 181.3.1. (Burglary, committed by organized group);
    • • 181.3.3 (Burglary, committed with causing heavy harm to health of the victim);
    • • 28, 214.2.1 (Preparation for terrorism committed by an organized criminal group);
    • • 28, 214.2.3 (Preparation for the commission of terrorism with the use of firearms);
    • • 28, 214.2.6 (Preparation of terrorism committed on the base of religious enmity, religious radicalism or religious fanaticism);
    • • 214.2.1 (Preparation of terrorism committed on preliminary arrangement by group of persons, by organized group or criminal community);
    • • 214.2.3 (Preparation of terrorism committed with application of fire-arms or subjects used as a weapon);
    • • 214.2.6 (Preparation of terrorism committed on the base of religious enmity, religious radicalism or religious fanaticism);
    • • 214-2 (Public calls for terrorism);
    • • 12.3,218.2 (Exercises for the purpose of terrorism);
    • • 12.1,218.2 (Participation in criminal community (criminal organization) or in association of organizers, heads or other representatives of the organized groups);
    • • 228.3 (Illegal purchase, transfer, selling, storage, transportation and carrying of fire-arms, accessories to it, supplies or explosives, committed by organized group);
    • • 229.3 (Illegal manufacturing of a weapon committed by organized group);
    • • 232.3.1 (Plunder or extortion of a weapon, supplies and explosives committed by organized group);
    • • 277 (Attempt on life of the state or public authority (act of terrorism);
    • • 278 (Violent capture power or violent deduction power);
    • • 278.2 (Violent capture power or violent deduction power in infringement of the Constitution of the Azerbaijan Republic, as well as directed on violent change of constitutional grounds of the states committed on the base of religious enmity, religious radicalism or religious fanaticism);
    • • 279.3 (Creation of armed formations or groups, which are not provided by the legislation of the Azerbaijan Republic entailed to destruction of people or other heavy consequences);
    • • 281.3 (Public appeals directed against the state, committed by orders of foreign organizations or their representatives);
    • • 283-1.3 (Creation of stable group to participate in the armed conflicts outside the Azerbaijan Republic);
    • • 318.2 (Crossing of protected frontier of the Azerbaijan Republic without established documents or outside of check point of frontier, committed on preliminary arrangement by group of persons or organized group either with application of violence or with threat of its application);
    • • 320.1 (Fake of certificate or other official document giving the rights or releasing from duties, with a view of its use or selling of such document, as well as manufacturing in same purposes or selling of counterfeit state awards of the Azerbaijan Republic, stamps, seals, forms);
    • • 320.2 (Use of obviously counterfeit documents) of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic.

 Mahir Azizov, born in 1986 in the city of Yevlakh, a citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic was detained on 4 July 2018. On 5 July 2018, the court ordered against Mahir Azizov a measure of restraint in the form of detention for a period of 4 months. He was charged under the Articles 29,120.2.1, 29,120.2.3, 29,120.2.4, 29,120.2.7, 29,120.2.11, 28,214.2.1, 28,214.2.3, 28,214.2.6, 214.2.1, 214.2.3, 214.2.6, 214-2, 228.3, 28,277, 277, 278 (old version in force until 28.10.2016), 278.2, 279.3, 281.3, 318.2, 320.1 and 320.2 of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic.

Hamlet Abdullayev, born in 1978 in the Republic of Georgia, a citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic, was detained on 6 July 2018. On 7 July 2018, the court ordered against Hamlet Abdullayev a measure of restraint in the form of detention for a period of 4 months. He was charged under the Articles 29,120.2.1, 29,120.2.3, 29,120.2.4, 29,120.2.7, 29,120.2.11, 28,214.2.1, 28,214.2.3, 28,214.2.6, 214.2.1, 214.2.3, 214.2.6, 228.3, 229.3, 234.1, 28,277, 277, 278 (old version in force until 28.10.2016), 278.2, 279.3 and 281.3 of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic.

Akif Aliyev, born in 1966 in the Republic of Armenia, a citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic, was detained on 12 July 2018. On 13 July 2018, the court ordered against Akif Aliyev a measure of restraint in the form of detention for a period of 4 months. He was charged under the Articles 29,120.2.1, 29,120.2.3, 29,120.2.4, 29,120.2.7, 29,120.2.11, 28,214.2.1, 28,214.2.3, 28,214.2.6, 214.2.1, 214.2.3, 214.2.6, 228.3, 277, 278 (old version in force until 28.10.2016), 278.2, 318.2, 320.1 and 320.2 of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic.

Rasim Mustafayev, born in 1980 in Ganja City, a citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic, was detained on 8 July 2018. On 9 July 2018, the court ordered against Rasim Mustafayev a measure of restraint in the form of detention for a period of 4 months. He was charged under the Articles 29,120.2.1, 29,120.2.3, 29,120.2.4, 29,120.2.7, 29,120.2.11, 28,214.2.1, 28,214.2.3, 28,214.2.6, 214.2.1, 214.2.3, 214.2.6, 228.3, 229.3, 28,277, 277, 278 (old version in force until 28.10.2016), 278.2 and 279.3 of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic.

Jeyhun Qurbanov, born in 1986 in Ganja City, a citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic, was detained on 8 July 2018. On 9 July 2018, the court ordered against Jeyhun Qurbanov a measure of restraint in the form of detention for a period of 4 months. He was charged under the Articles 29,120.2.1, 29,120.2.3, 29,120.2.4, 29,120.2.7, 29,120.2.11, 214.2.1, 214.2.3, 214.2.6, 28,277, 277 and 278.2 of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic.

Firudin Zeynalov, born in 1982 in Terter City, a citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic, was detained on 8 July 2018. On 9 July 2018, the court ordered against Firudin Zeynalov Qurbanov a measure of restraint in the form of detention for a period of 4 months. He was charged under the Articles 29,120.2.1, 29,120.2.3, 29,120.2.4, 29,120.2.7, 29,120.2.11, 214.2.1, 214.2.3, 214.2.6, 228.3, 28,277, 277 and 278.2 of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic.

Jafar Zalov, born in 1977 in Ganja City, a citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic, was detained on 4 July 2018. On 5 July 2018, the court ordered against Jafar Zalov a measure of restraint in the form of detention for a period of 4 months. He was charged under the Articles 29,120.2.1, 29,120.2.3, 29,120.2.4, 29,120.2.7, 29,120.2.11, 214.2.1, 214.2.3, 214.2.6, 228.3, 28,277, 277 and 278.2 of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic.

Vugar Mammadov, born in 1986 in Ganja City, a citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic, was detained on 4 July 2018. On 5 July 2018, the court ordered against Vugar Mammadov a measure of restraint in the form of detention for a period of 4 months. He was charged under the Articles 29,120.2.1, 29,120.2.3, 29,120.2.4, 29,120.2.7, 29,120.10, 29,120.2.11, 181.3.1, 181.3.3, 214.2.1, 214.2.3, 214.2.6, 228.3, 232.3.1, 232.3.2, 28,277, 277 and 278.2 of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic.

Jeyhun Salakhov, born in 1972 in Ganja City, a citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic, was detained on 7 July 2018. On 8 July 2018, the court ordered against Jeyhun Salakhov a measure of restraint in the form of detention for a period of 4 months. He was charged under the Articles 29,120.2.1, 29,120.2.3, 29,120.2.4, 29,120.2.7, 29,120.2.11, 214.2.1, 214.2.3, 214.2.6, 214-2, 228.3, 234.4.3, 28,277, 277, 278.2 and 281.3 of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic.

Anar Bagirov, born in 1975 in Ganja City, a citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic, was charged under the Articles 29,120.2.1, 29,120.2.3, 29,120.2.4, 29,120.2.7, 29,120.2.10, 29,120.2.11, 28,214.2.1, 28,214.2.3, 28,214.2.6, 214.2.1, 214.2.3, 214.2.6, 228.3, 229.3, 28,277, 277, 278 (old version in force until 28.10.2016),278.2, 279.3 and 315.2 of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic. On 21 July 2018, Anar Bagirov was killed by the security officers in the course of a special operation.

Agha Sarkhani, born in 1970 in Ganja City, a citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic, a member of the “Muslim Unity” movement, was charged under the Articles 29,120.2.1, 29,120.2.3, 29,120.2.4, 29,120.2.7, 29,120.2.10, 29,120.2.11, 214.2.1, 214.2.3, 214.2.6, 228.3, 28,277, 277, 278.2, 279.3 and 315.2 of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic. On 25 July 2018, Agha Sarkhani was shot dead by the security services during a special operation.

According to the investigation, Yunis Safarov had been regularly travelling to Azerbaijan and the Islamic Republic of Iran since 2007. He promoted the provisions of Islam, the fight against crime in Azerbaijan in a radical way, the forcible seizure of power and the change of the constitutional system of the State, the creation of a Shariah governed state in Azerbaijan. Previously, residing in Moscow, Yunis Safarov worked in a special police unit of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation and had no criminal records. Yunis Safarov together with his acquaintances Mahir Azizov, Akif Aliyev, Hamlet Abdullayev, Anar Bagirov, Agha Sarkhani, Jafar Zalov, Firudin Zeynalov, Vugar Mammadov, Jeyhun Qurbanov, Rasim Mustafayev, Jeyhun Salakhov and others formed an organized criminal group in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

On the Azdiaspora forum, on which he was an administrator, and other social media, he discussed methods of overthrowing the government in Azerbaijan and the physical elimination of the state officials. According to the accusation, Yunis Safarov had been following Elmar Valiyev, the Chief Executive of the city of Ganja, at various events since January 2018. Yunis Safarov was commissioned by the members of the foreign organization Huseyniyya to kill Elmar Valiyev in February 2018. On 3 July 2018, Yunis Safarov, armed with a Makarov pistol, approached Valiyev’s security guard, Qasim Ashbazov, and shot him twice. After wounding Q. Ashbazov, he then attacked E. Valiyev and shot him as well. As a result of the attack, both men were seriously injured.

In the course of the judicial investigation, Yunis Safarov testified that he had decided to attack the Head of the Ganja City Executive because all appeals and complaints to higher authorities regarding Elmar Valiyev’s criminal activities had been ignored. Yunis Safarov indicated that the state officials had shown disrespect to the citizens. He was not at all remorseful for what he had done. Yunis Safarov stated that his goal was to punish Elmar Valiyev and also to teach other officials a lesson. Yunis Safarov followed the Ganja events from Moscow. He also testified that he had been acquainted with Mahir Azizov since their childhood, and having studied with his sister at the same class. In 2001-2002 he met Jeyhun Salakhov at a mosque in Moscow that they both attended. He had also met Rasim Mustafayev in Moscow. He knew Akif Aliyev as brother of Azer Aliyev, he had seen him only twice. Although, he had known Vugar Mammadov for a long time, they were good friends.  He and Jeyhun Qurbanov are distant relatives.

Also, Yunis Safarov testified that he had never met Hamlet Abdullayev and that he had never been handed a Kalashnikov rifle by the latter.  He didn’t know the killed Agha Sarkhani either. He insisted that he met Firudin Zeynalov only during the trial.

The accused, Hamlet Abdullayev, who was questioned at the trial, pleaded not guilty to the charges and testified that he had known Yunis Safarov as a true believer with whom he had maintained normal relationship. He confirmed that knew the other defendants as residents of the city of Ganja, but he had never been acquainted with Akif Aliyev. He also knew the killed Anar Bagirov, with whom he was on friendly terms. Agha Sarkhani was not known to him at all. He met Yunis Safarov in Ganja in 2017 while buying his flat. During the meeting, Yunis Safarov told him that he wanted to talk to him about some business, that he had been trained in Syria and wanted to take revenge on Elmar Valiyev for mistreating the residents of Ganja. Hamlet Abdullayev did not take his words seriously and tried to discourage him but Yunis Safarov did not listen to him.

Mahir Azizov, who was questioned at the hearing, pleaded not guilty to the charges and testified that he had lived in Vladimir City in the Russian Federation since 1998. Then he moved to Moscow. Since 2004, he had studied together with Yunis Safarov’s sister in the same class. Following his graduation from the university’s Faculty of Law, he met with Y. Safarov, with whom he talked about religion and socio-political life. Then M. Azizov returned to Azerbaijan to do his military service, and lived at Safarov’s residence. Until 2017, he had not met him. In 2017. Yunis Safarov wrote to M. Azizov via the social media and offered to meet with him. Yunis Safarov said that there was a problem with his documents and that his name was on the wanted list. Mahir Azizov testified that he had seen the accused Rasim Mustafayev just once. Yunis Safarov asked Mahir Azizov to tell Rasim Mustafayev that he would like to meet him. However, Rasim Mustafayev did not want to meet with Yunis Safarov. On 5 July 2018, two strangers in civilian clothes entered the shop where Mahir Azizov worked, he believed them to be customers and provided them some information on goods. Later, these men came back and handcuffed him. He was brought to the Department for Combating Organized Crime of the Azerbaijan Ministry of Interior Affairs, where he was forced to sign a self-incriminating confession. Mahir Azizov was then brought back to his house in Sumgayit, where he lived with his wife, two young children and mother-in-law. While in the house, the officers asked him where he had put the grenade. As a result of the search, the grenade was found in a child’s wardrobe afterwards. Then again, he was brought back to the Department for Combating Organized Crime of the AR Interior Ministry. The investigator pressed him to testify as they wanted to, so he made the kind of testimony that the investigating body needed.

 

Akif Aliyev, who was questioned during the court hearing, pleaded not guilty to the charges and indicated that the charge had been based on supposition and suspicion. He testified that he had no communication with any members of the so-called criminal group. There weren’t any correspondence or calls from the accused persons in his phone, which he has been using since 2015. He had just met with Yunis Safarov on two occasions through his brother Azer Aliyev.

Rasim Mustafayev, who was questioned at the trial, pleaded not guilty to the charges and testified that he met Yunis Safarov at a mosque in Moscow in 2005. In 2007, he returned to Ganja City whereas Yunis Safarov returned to Ganja a year later, in 2008. He did not meet Yunis Safarov any time after 2013. Since 2016, Rasim Mustafayev had been living in Baku, where he worked. Only three days after Yunis Safarov’s arrest, Rasim Mustafayev was also detained and brought to the Department for Combating Organized Crime of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Azerbaijan Republic. Rasim Mustafayev stated that he had known Hamlet Abdullayev while he had seen Mahir Azizov only twice. Rasim Mustafayev also testified that he had been working in the furniture store through the year 2010 and was visited by Yunis Safarov along with Mahir Azizov. In April-May 2018, Mahir Azizov came over to him and said that Yunis Safarov had been looking for him. Being aware that at that time Yunis Safarov was searched for, Mahir Azizov advised Rasim Mustafayev to stay away from Yunis Safarov. After that, Mahir Azizov left, and he did not see him again. On 9 July 2018, Rasim Mustafayev was informed at work that he had been sought. Upon his arrest, fifteen police officers came to his house, while his wife and children were at home. In one of his jackets, a Makarov pistol was found. Rasim Mustafayev insisted that the police officers themselves had placed the Makarov pistol in his house. Afterwards, he was brought to the Department for Combating Organized Crime of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Azerbaijan Republic.

Jeyhun Qurbanov, who was questioned during the court hearing, pleaded not guilty to the charges and testified that none of the charges were true and substantiated. He had been submitted and forced to sign some documents. Jeyhun Qurbanov has revealed that Yunis Safarov was his relative, they had lived in the same courtyard, and grew up together for up to 4-5 years old. However, despite that, when in 2017. Yunis Safarov approached him, Jeyhun Qurbanov did not recognize him. Then, while in Baku, Yunis Safarov called Jeyhun Qurbanov and asked him to find him a flat for rent. Thereafter, he had no contact with him.

Firudin Zeynalov, who was questioned during the court hearing, pleaded not guilty to the charges and testified that he had been in custody since 7 October 2017. His arrest is linked to the events at the ImamzadeMosque in Ganja.

More detailed about event at the Imamzade Mosque see here:

https://musavat.com/news/gencede-icra-hakimiyyeti-asura-gunu-niye-gerginlik-yaradib_472267.html?d=1

This means that F. Zeynalov had no chance to take part in the crimes he was accused of. On 14 July 2018, he was in the temporary detention facility at the Ganja City Police Department, where an investigator of the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Azerbaijan Republic read out charges against Firudin Zeynalov but the grounds for the charges against him were not clarified. He also testified that he had first been questioned only in November 2018. He was then transferred to the Baku Detention Centre, where he was interrogated by the investigator Orkhan Hajiyev.  Zeynalov also claimed that he had not been involved in any crimes and had not known any of the suspects.

Jafar Zalov, who was questioned during the court hearing, pleaded not guilty to the charges and testified that he had met Yunis Safarov through Hamlet Abdullayev in the year 2008. From 2008 to 2017, D. Zalov did not personally see Y. Safarov. In the winter of 2017, D. Zalov accidentally spotted Y. Safarov in the village of Ahmadli in Baku. He said that he had returned from Russia because his documents had not been in proper form. D. Zalov helped Yunis, but pointed out that if he had known that he was going to commit a crime, he would not have helped him.

Vugar Mammadov, who was questioned during the court hearing, pleaded not guilty to the charges and testified that he had not committed any crimes; his grandfather, father and he himself worked as policemen. He had known Yunis Safarov since 2009-2010. He was known as a religious man and a lawyer.  He saw Yunis Safarov at one of the weddings, where he criticized officials who, in his opinion, had been creating an abyss between the President and people. В. Mammadov pointed out that he had not been aware of Y.Safarov’s intentions, did not have any complaint against Elmar Valiyev and everything that had been written about his assistance to Yunis Safarov was a lie. V. Mammadov testified that he had found for Y. Safarov a flat to rent. On 22 July 2017, he found out that there had been an attack on Elshan Nasirov (a security guard at the bank, which according to the investigation Yunis Safarov had stolen a weapon) with a blunt object in 2017. He recognized Yunis Safarov on the video and immediately informed his superior, Shamistan Karimov. His boss told him to participate in the investigative operations. The police officers arrived at the house where Y.Safarov was staying and there, found his belongings. The Chief of the Kapaz District Police Department of the Ganja City promised to V.Mammadov ten thousand manats and a post for capturing Yunis Safarov. If he fails to catch Yunis, they will force Y.Safarov to testify against Vugar Mammadov once they capture him. Vugar Mammadov also testified that he had worked in the security of various facilities for a long time, and if he had cooperated or supported Yunis Safarov, he would have informed him of the location of surveillance cameras in the city. However, it did not happen.

The defendant, Jeyhun Salakhov, who was questioned at the hearing, pleaded not guilty to the charges and testified that he had known only Yunis Safarov, Rasim Mustafayev, Mahir Azizov, and Hamlet Abdullayev among the accused ones. He met Yunis Safarov in Russia in 2002 and they were friends until 2010. He met Hamlet Abdullayev in Ganja City. In 2017, he saw Y. Safarov again. At that time, Jeyhun Salakhov was working in a bookstore where Yunis Safarov used to come to read books. Hamlet Abdullayev and Anar Bagirov also visited the store. Jeyhun Salakhov testified that the police forced him to look for Yunis, but he refused to do so, saying that it was not his duty but the police’, for which he received 10 days of administrative arrest. Even though the investigator of the Ministry of Internal Affairs promised to pay a bonus of ten thousand manats in case of catching Yunus Safarov. Then this amount was increased up to twenty thousand manats. The police looked for Yunis Safarov everywhere.  Later he learned that Yunis had attacked Elmar Valiyev. Jeyhun Salakhov stated that although he had found for Yunus Safarov a telephone number and a flat for Yunis, he was not aware of Safarov’s plans and was not involved in the criminal group.

Aynur Bagirova, the killed defendant Anar Bagirov’s sister and his legal successor testified during the court hearing that her brother had been performing namaz (prayers) and selling religious books in front of the Shah Abbas Mosque in Ganja. At the mosque, he met Hamlet Abdullayev, and through him, he got acquainted with Yunis Safarov. Aynur Bagirova also stated that her brother had not resisted during his detention and she believed that the officers had killed her brother deliberately.

Sevinj Sarkhani, the killed defendant Agha Sarkhani’s spouse and legal successor, testified at the trial that she got married to Agha Sarkhani in 2004 and has two young children. Her husband had been selling shoes at the market, and time to time visited his relatives in Iran. In 2011, he was detained on drug trafficking charges and served a 3-year imprisonment sentence. It was during this time that he started praying (namaz). Sevinj Sarkhani saw her husband for the last time on 9 July 2018, and he told her about the expected rally. On 23 July 2018, while communicating with him by mobile phone, he did not tell her where he was.

Elmar Valiyev’s bodyguard Qasim Ashbazov, working in the bank security service Elshan Nasibov and Iftikhar Rustamov from the Department of Organized Crime Investigation, all of them testified at the trial that the incriminating to them crimes were the fault of Yunis Safarov.

According to the criminal case records, the victim, Elmar Valiyev, the former Head of the Ganja City Executive Authority is unable to clearly recall and describe the events of 3 July 2018, due to his state of health.

A religious expertise conducted on 3 August and 28 December 2018, determined that there were calls for the forcible seizure, the retention of power and violent overthrow of the constitutional framework of the Azerbaijan Republic in the brochures found in the possession of the accused.

The court, having heard the criminal case in open proceedings, found the defendants guilty of the following offences and sentenced them:

  • Yunis Safarov, for committing offences under the Articles 29,120.2.1, 29,120.2.3, 29,120.2.4, 29,120.2.6, 29,120.2.7, 29,120.2.10, 29,120.2.11, 28,214.2.1, 28,214.2.3, 28,214.2.6, 214.2.1, 214.2.3, 214.2.6, 214-2, 12.3,214-3.1, 12.1,218.2, 228.3, 229.3, 232.3.1, 232.3.2, 28,277, 277, 278 (old version in force until 28.10.2016), 2, 279.3, 281.3, 283-1.3, 318.2, 320.1 and 320.2 of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic and sentenced him to life imprisonment in the Gobustan Penitentiary Service Closed Prison;
  • Hamlet Abdullayev, for committing crimes under the Articles 29,120.2.1, 29,120.2.3, 29,120.2.4, 29,120.2.7, 29,120.2.11, 28,214.2.1, 28,214.2.3, 28,214.2.6, 214.2.1, 214.2.3, 214.2.6, 228.3, 229.3, 234.1, 28,277, 277, 278 (old version in force until 28.10.2016),2, 279.3 and 281.3 of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic and sentenced him to 19 years’ imprisonment to be served in a strict regime facility;
  • Mahir Azizov, for committing offences under the Articles 29,120.2.1, 29,120.2.3, 29,120.2.4, 29,120.2.7, 29,120.2.11, 28,214.2.1, 28,214.2.3, 28,214.2.6, 214.2.1, 214.2.3, 214.2.6, 214-2, 228.3, 28,277, 277, 278 (old version in force until 28.10.2016), 2, 279.3, 281.3, 318.2, 320.1 and 320.2 of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic and sentenced him to 20 years’ imprisonment with 5 years’ imprisonment in the Gobustan Penitentiary Service Closed Prison, and further imprisonment in a high-security institution;
  • Akif Aliyev, for committing crimes under the Articles 29,120.2.1, 29,120.2.3, 29,120.2.4, 29,120.2.7, 29,120.2.11, 28,214.2.1, 28,214.2.3, 28,214.2.6, 214.2.1, 214.2.3, 214.2.6, 228.3, 28,277, 277, 278 (вредакции до 28 октября 2016 года), 278.2, 318.2, 320.1 and 320.2 of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic and sentenced him to 20 years’ imprisonment to be served in a strict regime facility;
  • Rasim Mustafayev, for committing crimes under the Articles 29,120.2.1, 29,120.2.3, 29,120.2.4, 29,120.2.7, 29,120.2.11, 28,214.2.1, 28,214.2.3, 28,214.2.6, 214.2.1, 214.2.3, 214.2.6, 228.3, 229.3, 28,277, 277, 278 (в редакции до 28 октября 2016 года), 278.2 and 279.3 of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic and sentenced him to 20 years’ imprisonment to be served in a strict regime facility;
  • Jeyhun Qurbanov, for committing crimes under the Articles 29,120.2.1, 29,120.2.3, 29,120.2.4, 29,120.2.7, 29,120.2.11, 214.2.1, 214.2.3, 214.2.6, 28,277, 277 and 279.3 of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic and sentenced him to 18 years’ imprisonment to be served in a strict regime facility;
  • Firudin Zeynalov, for committing offences under the Articles 29,120.2.1, 29,120.2.3, 29,120.2.4, 29,120.2.7, 29,120.2.11, 214.2.1, 214.2.3, 214.2.6, 228.3, 28,277, 277 and 278.2 of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic and sentenced him to 19 years’ imprisonment with 4 years’ imprisonment in the Gobustan Penitentiary Service Closed Prison, and further imprisonment in a high-security institution;
  • Jafar Zalov, for committing crimes under the Articles 29,120.2.1, 29,120.2.3, 29,120.2.4, 29,120.2.7, 29,120.2.11, 214.2.1, 214.2.3, 214.2.6, 228.3, 28,277, 277 and 278.2 of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic and sentenced him to 18 years’ imprisonment to be served in a strict regime facility;
  • Vugar Mammadov, for committing offences under the Articles 29,120.2.1, 29,120.2.3, 29,120.2.4, 29,120.2.6, 29,120.2.7, 29,120.2.10, 29,120.2.11, 214.2.1, 214.2.3, 214.2.6, 228.3, 232.3.1, 232.3.2, 28,277, 277 and 278.2 of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic and sentenced him to 19 years’ imprisonment with 4 years’ imprisonment in the Gobustan Penitentiary Service Closed Prison, and further imprisonment in a high-security institution;
  • Jeyhun Salakhov, for committing offences under the Articles 29,120.2.1, 29,120.2.3, 29,120.2.4, 29,120.2.7, 29,120.2.11, 214.2.1, 214.2.3, 214.2.6, 214-2, 228.3, 234.1, 28,277, 277, 278.2 and 281.3 of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic and sentenced him to 19 years’ imprisonment with 4 years’ imprisonment in the Gobustan Penitentiary Service Closed Prison, and further imprisonment in a high-security institution.

 

Commentary by expert lawyer:

The court verdict is unlawful and unjustified. As mentioned above, there were photographs circulated in the media immediately following Yunis Safarov’s arrest, showing the body of Yunis Safarov in blood with traces of torture and beatings lying on the floor. See: https://www.ipd-az.org/aliyevs-regime-is-carrying-out-repressions-by-imitating-the-fight-with-islamic-terrorism/

The photos clearly depicted Yunis Safarov as being beaten with his hands tied behind his back, lying in blood, and showing a man’s shoe next to him. It should be reminded that these photographs had been circulated when Yunis was in custody. The use of torture, beatings in respect of the accused was not investigated or examined by the court. The verdict does not contain any legal assessment of the law enforcement officers’ illegal and unlawful actions that should have ensured observance of the defendant’s rights.

The Article 9 of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic enshrines the principle of humanity. The essence of the principle consists in ensuring that penalties and other measures of criminal law applied to a person who has committed an offence shall not have the nature, intent of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

According to the Article 12.1 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Azerbaijan Republic,

The judicial authorities shall observe the human and civil rights and liberties afforded by the Constitution to all participants in criminal proceedings.

The Article 13 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Azerbaijan Republic states:

During a criminal prosecution nobody shall:

  • be subjected to treatment or punishment that debases human dignity;
  • be held in conditions that debase human dignity;
  • be forced to participate in carrying out procedures that debase human dignity.

During the criminal prosecution the following shall be prohibited (the Article 15.2 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Azerbaijan Republic):

  • the use of torture and physical and psychological force, including the use of medication, withdrawal of food, hypnosis, deprivation of medical aid and the use of other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment;
  • the imposition of long-term or severe physical pain or acts which are detrimental to health, or any similar ill-treatment;
  • taking evidence from victims, suspects or accused persons or from other participants in the criminal proceedings using violence, threats, deceit or by other unlawful acts which violate their rights.

Torture and inhuman and degrading treatment are also prohibited by the Norms of International Law. Thus, according to the Article 3 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, no one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The prohibition of torture is also set out in the Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and in the Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in addition to the European Convention.

In the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in the case of Aksoy v. Turkey of December, 18, 1996 it is stated, “The Article 3. As the Court has pointed out many times before, the Court protects one of the basic values of a democratic society. Even in the most difficult of circumstances, such as the fight against organised terrorism or crime, the Convention absolutely forbids the use of torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Unlike most of the substantive provisions of the Convention and Protocols Nos. 1 and 4, the Article 3 do not provide exemptions or permit its partial withdrawal: under the Article 15, it does not cease to be in force even in a public emergency threatening the existence of the nation” (para. 62). See: https://www.dipublico.org/1563/case-of-aksoy-v-turkey-application-no-2198793-european-court-of-human-rights/

 

As previously pointed out, the court failed to take into account the undeniable facts of Yunis Safarov’s inhuman treatment while under investigation, failed to assess the legal basis thereof and made no adequate determination in respect of the law enforcement officers who tortured the defendant.

Whereas according to the Article 99 of the Law of the Azerbaijan Republic On Courts and Judges, the judges shall perform the following duties: perform justice precisely and unconditionally, ensure moral and educational influence of the judicial practice, be fair and impartial; keep confidentiality, not disclose information revealed in the closed court sessions; avoid any deed that causes harm to the prestige of justice, authority, honour and dignity of judges. The judges of the Baku City Court of Serious Crimes ignored the Article On Courts and Judges.

A particular consideration should be given to the religious analyses conducted as part of this criminal case on 3 August and 28 December 2018. The verdict states that the experts determined that the brochures and discs found in the possession of the accused contained calls for the forcible seizure and retention of the power, forcible change of the constitutional system and violation of the territorial integrity of the Azerbaijan Republic, as well as acts of religious hatred and enmity.

In this regard, we should note that the religious expertise is the study of information on doctrine, as well as the analysis of the religious studies aspects of controversial texts, objects of worship and the performance of religious rites and ceremonies. The religious expertise makes it possible to identify the religious organization, determine its doctrine, and describe its context. Thus, the religious expertise reveals features, which are subsequently legally qualified as compliant or not compliant with the current legislation. The expert cannot answer the question about the truth or falsity of religious beliefs while analyzing the religious doctrine.

In the course of the expert’s examination, the religious scholar examines:

  • the constituent documents of a religious organization and the decisions of its governing and executive bodies;
  • the fundamentals of the religious organization’s doctrine;
  • the forms and methods of operation of a religious organization;
  • worship services, and other religious rites and ceremonies;
  • the interna documents of the religious organization reflecting its hierarchical and organizational structure;
  • religious literature, and other printed, audio and video materials;
  • religious sermons, symbols, paraphernalia.

See: https://sudagent.ru/publications/religiovedcheskaya-ekspertiza-obekty-osobennosti-i-tipovye-voprosy/

As we can see, a religious expert examines certain issues within his competence. The questions addressed to the expert in the commented criminal case are not within his competence. They have a legal connotation and give a juridical qualification to the offence. In the case at hand the court should not have admitted the expert’s conclusions as evidence and should not have referred to them subsequently in the judgment.

The defendants were charged under more than 20 Articles of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic. However, none of the provisions had been proved by the investigating authorities. There was no incontrovertible evidence in the case and outside observers had reasonable doubts about the defendants’ guilt.

There was also a violation of the principle of the presumption of innocence. According to the Article 21 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Azerbaijan Republic,

  • any person suspected of committing an offence shall be found innocent if his guilt is not proven in accordance with this Code and if the court has not delivered a final judgment to that effect.
  • even if there are reasonable suspicions as to the guilt of the person, this shall not cause the latter to be found guilty. The accused (the suspect) shall receive the benefit of any doubts which cannot be removed in the process of proving the charge in accordance with the provisions of this Code, within the appropriate legal proceedings. He shall likewise receive the benefit of any doubts which are not removed in the application of criminal law and criminal procedure legislation;
  • the accused shall not be obliged to prove his innocence. It shall be for the prosecution to prove the charge or to refute the evidence given in defence of the suspect or the accused.

Despite the fact that the investigators’ arguments raised a number of doubts about the proper handling of the criminal case by the investigating bodies, the court did not interpret these doubts in favour of the defendants. In case of lack of compelling evidence provided by the investigating bodies, the prosecution falls apart. Numerous doubts were not resolved either in the course of the investigation or at the trial. It was up to the investigating authorities to prove the defendants’ guilt and they failed to do so.

It has been pointed out above that Yunis Safarov’s lawyer, Elchin Sadigov, had been suspended. Following a complaint made by the Penitentiary Service of the AR Ministry of Justice, Mr Sadigov was suspended as a defence counsel for Mr Safarov. The core of the complaint was that the lawyer had allegedly incited his client to file a complaint concerning the torture inflicted on him during the preliminary investigation. A lawyer’s job is to provide legal assistance to his client. Unlawful and unjustified dismissal of the lawyer is a violation of the defendant’s right to legal defence guaranteed by the Article 61 (1) of the AR Constitution, the Article 6 (3) subparagraph (c) of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. This article states:

Everyone charged with a criminal offence has the following minimum rights:

  • (c) to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his own choosing or, if he has not sufficient means to pay for legal assistance, to be given it free when the interests of justice so require.

 

Upon closer examination, we can deduce that the guilt of the 11 people accused along with Yunis Safarov, as well as his acquaintances and relatives, has not been established at all. And their prosecution is a gross violation of the National Legislation of the Azerbaijan Republic and the International Law.

In the course of the court hearing the principle of transparency of the trial was violated. The Press and public activists, willing to follow the trial, were not allowed in the courtroom. The principle of publicity, enshrined in the Article 27 of the AR CPC, as well as in the Article 6(1) of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, was gravely violated.

Thus, the fundamental principles of criminal proceedings were infringed, the issues that fall within the competence of the courts were not considered, the evidences were distorted, the experts’ conclusions beyond their competence were accepted as solid proofs in the case, the mistreatment was not investigated during the trial, and the illegal actions of the law enforcement officers were not legally assessed.

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The persecution of Agil Humbatov is ongoing

The persecution of Agil Humbatov is ongoing

Agil Humbatov

Analysis of violation of law during Aqil Humbatov’s judicial proceedings

Baku City Khazar District Court

Case №4(003)-334/2021

13 August 2021

Judge: Tarlan Akbarov

Defendant: Aqil Humbatov

Defender: Sarkhan Mammadov

The plaintiff in the court: Jalal Mammadov, an investigator of the Khazar District Police Investigation Department.

With the participation of Khatai District Prosecutor, Fakhri Aleskerov.

 

Aqil Humbatov, a member of the opposition Popular Front Party of the Azerbaijan (PFPA), lives in the city of Baku, Zira settlement, is unemployed and has three young children in in his custody. He collects cardboard from garbage dumps and sells it to feed his children. Humbatov has repeatedly criticized the country’s president at his personal Facebook page. In March 2020, Humbatov addressed the President on Facebook and harshly criticized the Head of the country for not having enough money to support his children. Mr. A. Humbatov raised the issue of child allowances since his three young children are in his custody – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihzNZTheruE

In 2019, Aqil Humbatov was detained for the first time. On 14 March 2019, he was subjected to administrative detention. His Party associates believe that the pressure on Humbatov is linked to his harsh criticism of the President and his direct appeals to the Country Head. On 30 March 2020, he was detained in the Mashtaqi settlement of Baku and placed in the Republican Psychiatric Hospital. On the very same day the hospital’s Head Physician, Agahasan Rasulov, applied to the Sabunchi District Court of Baku City with a request to forcibly place Aqil Humbatov in a psychiatric hospital. The Head Physician substantiated his application by saying that Aqil Humbatov, born in 1983, was urgently admitted to the hospital upon receipt of a letter dated 30 March 2020, sent by the authorities of the Khazar District Police 1st Department. The judge of Sabunchi District Court of Baku, Samir Talybov after having studied the case materials and heard the testimonies of the participants of the trial, came to the conclusion, on April 1, 2020, to dismiss the Head Physician’s application, justifying it by the fact of failure to present in court irrefutable evidence that Aqil Humbatov may be dangerous to society, that he may not manage himself due to some mental disorder or presence of severe mental illness – https://www.ipd-az.org/ru/agil-gumbatov/

However, on 3 April 2020, the Chairman of the Civil Chamber of the Baku Appeal Court, Mammad Mamadov issued a new ruling in A. Humbatov’s case. The judgment of the Sabunchi District Court of Baku dated 1 April 2020, was overturned and a new judgment was issued: Aqil Humbatov should be forcibly placed in the “Republican Psychiatric Hospital” – https://www.ipd-az.org/ru/agil-gimbatov-2/. Yet, after the Amnesty International, with the assistance of the Institute of Peace and Democracy, organized a broad international campaign in support to Aqil Humbatov demanding his release, the Head Doctor of the Psychiatric Hospital, Agahasan Rasulov was obliged to release Aqil Humbatov in a matter of 3 months.

Nevertheless, Aqil Humbatov’s persecution persisted in 2021. In the evening of 11 August 2021, Aqil Humbatov stepped out of the house. At night, his family received a call from the Khazar District Police Department of Baku and was informed that A.Humbatov had committed a crime and was therefore detained. He was charged with a crime under the Article 126.2.4 (Deliberate causing of serious harm to health committed from hooligan prompting) of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic (AR Criminal Code). According to the investigation, Aqil Humbatov inflicted serious injuries to a certain citizen, Yaman Mamedov, at whose yard A.Humbatov was collecting remnants of metal and cardboard.

On 13 August 2021, the Khazar District Court of Baku issued a restraint order against Mr. Humbatov in the form of detention for a period of four months.

Commentary by expert lawyer:

The court verdict is unlawful and unjustified. According to the Article 28 of the Constitution of the Azerbaijan Republic,

⦁  Everyone has the right for freedom

This right is enshrined in both National Law and International Treaties.

For example, the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms states in the Article 5 (1):

⦁ Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person.

The right to liberty is also guaranteed by the International Legal Framework. This Norm guarantees a fundamental right, among the most important rights: the right to liberty and security of individuals. The safeguards enshrined in this article apply to everyone: anyone at liberty or in detention has this right.

The right to liberty is also enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Article 9, and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Article 9.

The courts must clearly justify their rulings when restricting a citizen’s right to liberty, and should do so by referring to the exhaustive list of restrictions set out in the Article 5(1) of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

The grounds upon which the court orders a preventive measure are set out in the Article 155 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Azerbaijan Republic. Thus, this article states:

⦁ hidden from the prosecuting authority;

⦁ obstructed the normal course of the investigation or court proceedings by illegally influencing parties to the criminal proceedings, hiding material significant to the prosecution or engaging in falsification;

⦁ committed a further act provided for in criminal law or created a public threat;

⦁ failed to comply with a summons from the prosecuting authority, without good reason, or otherwise evaded criminal responsibility or punishment;

⦁ prevented execution of a court judgment.

The court indicated the following grounds: concealment of the nature and gravity of the act committed from the body conducting the criminal proceedings, reoffending under the criminal law or posing a danger to the society, obstructing the normal course of the preliminary investigation or the court proceedings.

Despite the fact that these grounds were stated in the arrest order, the court did not provide any evidence to justify the harshest measure of restraint.

The Decision of the Plenum of the Supreme Court of the Azerbaijan Republic On the practice of the application by the courts of the law in considering submissions relating to the imposition of measures of procedural coercion against defendants dated on 3 November 2009, states, ” The courts’ attention, while considering the implementation of measures to the accused, must be drawn to the prompt and effective observance of the Article 28 of the Azerbaijan Constitution, as well as the Articles 5 and 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR) and the practice of the European courts”. Avoid a formalistic approach to the submisions’ examination, bearing in mind that the preventive measure of arrest is the most serious one that restricts the rights of the arrested person. The courts should be informed that, according to the case law of the European Court of Human Rights, the use of preventive detention, as a rule, is permissible when the public interest exceeds a person’s right to liberty, i.e. when a person’s detention causes negative emotions in society and dangerous to society.”

As we can see, more than 10 years have passed since the Decision of the Plenum of the Azerbaijan Republic Supreme Court was adopted. However, it is still just on paper, not respected by the courts, and is also grossly violated. The Article 154 of the Criminal Procedure Code states that when imposing a preventive measure in the form of arrest the courts must verify the potentiality of application of the measure.

The court ruling against Aqil Humbatov lacks motivation and justification for the decision, which makes it formal and superficial.

In this case, the presumption of innocence guaranteed by the Article 21 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Azerbaijan Republic was violated. According to this article, even if there are reasonable suspicions as to the guilt of the person, this shall not cause the latter to be found guilty. The accused (the suspect) shall receive the benefit of any doubts which cannot be removed in the process of proving the charge in accordance with the provisions of this Code, within the appropriate legal proceedings. He shall likewise receive the benefit of any doubts which are not removed in the application of criminal law and criminal procedure legislation.

The reasonable doubts in the course of the trial have not been resolved and were not interpreted in favour of the accused, thus violating his right to be presumed innocent also guaranteed by the Article 6(2) of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

In view of the above, it can be concluded that the unjustified and unlawful court ruling violated one of the fundamental rights, e.g. Aqil Humbatov’s right to liberty, as well as his presumption of innocence.

 

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The trials of armenian prisoners of war are held behind closed doors

THE TRIALS OF ARMENIAN PRISONERS OF WAR ARE HELD BEHIND CLOSED DOORS

The courtroom

The 14 accused Armenian prisoners of war

 Analysis of violation of law during 14 Armenian prisoners of war judicial proceedings

Baku Grave Crimes Court

Case №1(101)-1204/2021

2 July 2021

 Presiding judge: Afgan Hajiyev

Judges: Telman Huseynov, Ali Mammadov

Defendants: Hrach Avakyan, Gegam Serobyan, Armen Bagasyan, Gor Gasparyan, Kamo Sefilyan, Volodya Hakobyan, Gevorg Asatryan, Sisak Engoyan, Albert Petrosyan, Romik Sedrakyan, Aram Minasyan, Mkrtych Minasyan, Edgar Maresyan, Yuriy Karapetyan

 

There are no names of the state prosecutors or defense lawyers/advocates in the verdict text of the trial.

 There was a serious fighting between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces over Karabakh and its surroundings at the end of September 2020. As a result of the 44-day war, the Azerbaijani armed forces liberated several towns and numerous villages of the Karabakh region and its surrounding territories. According to the Azerbaijani official information, on 26 November 2020, a group of Armenian armed units secretly penetrated into the territory of Azerbaijan and occupied positions in a woodland to the north-west of Hadrut village of the Khojavand District. It happened right after the ceasefire established as a result of the trilateral (Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia) agreement signed on 10 November 2020. Thereafter, the Armenian armed formations committed terrorist and subversive acts against the Azerbaijani military and civilians. As a result of a special operation carried out by the Azerbaijani State Security Service, on 13 December 2020, the Armenian servicemen were disarmed. There were 14 defendants in the criminal case: Hrach Avakyan, Geham Serobyan, Armen Bagasyan, Gor Gasparyan, Kamo Sefilyan, Volodya Hakobyan, Gevorg Asatryan, Sisak Engoyan, Albert Petrosyan, Romik Sedrakyan, Aram Minasyan, Mkrtych Minasyan, Edgar Maresyan, Yuriy Karapetyan.

All of them were accused of committing crimes under the Articles 214.2.1 (Terrorism, committed on preliminary arrangement by group of persons, by organized group or criminal community), 214.2.3. (Terrorism, committed with application of fire-arms or subjects used as a weapon), 228.3 (Illegal purchase, transfer, selling, storage, transportation and carrying of fire-arms, accessories to it, supplies or explosives, committed by organized group), 279.2. (The attack on enterprises, establishments, and organizations or on separate persons by structure of formations or groups which is provided by articles 279.1 and 279.1-1 of the present Code) and 318.2 (Crossing of protected frontier of the Azerbaijan Republic, committed on preliminary arrangement by group of persons or organized group either with application of violence or with threat of its application) of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic.

Similar charges were brought against another 53 individuals of the Armenian armed groups.

In the course of the trial, the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges. They claimed that they had not been aware that they had crossed the Azerbaijani border; they had been loaded into a truck in Armenia and taken to Karabakh. At the same time, they declared that they hadn’t had any idea exactly where they were. On 13 December 2020, their commander asked one of the defendants to bring food to a certain place; it was already dark outside, and there were both Russian and Azerbaijani servicemen nearby. The Armenian soldiers laid down their weapons and surrendered to the Azerbaijani military.

A report issued by the Azerbaijani State Security Service on 16 December 2020, indicated that it was detained 62 Armenian military personnel during an anti-terrorist operation on 13 December 2020. On 14 December 2020, two more Armenian servicemen were detained.

The court found that the preliminary investigation had misinterpreted the defendants’ actions. According to the court, the crimes had not been committed by an “organized group”. In addition, the defendants’ actions did not constitute an offence under the Articles 279 and 214 of the Criminal Code. The court ruled that the defendants’ involvement in the crimes could be classified as “a group of persons acting by pre-conspiracy”. The court also ruled that the actions of the defendants did not include such offences as terrorism, participation in illegal armed formations, illegal bearing of weapons and ammunition.

During the preliminary investigation, the defendants stated that the official Armenian authorities had threatened them with arrest and imprisonment for a period of 8 to 12 years if they refused to serve in the army while they had been conscripted. The defendants’ profiles revealed that these men had been unemployed. The facts indicate that the defendants did not want to fight.

The State Prosecutor asked the court to exclude the Articles 214.2.1, 214.2.3, 228.3, and 279.2 from the charges and to impose a sentence only according to the Article 318.2 of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic.

The court did not find any aggravating circumstances in the criminal case.

On 2 July 2020, the Baku City Court of Serious Crimes sentenced issued the verdict against the Armenian military: they were found guilty of a crime under the Article 318.2 of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic. The Court sentenced Hrach Avakyan and Gegham Serobyan to 4 years imprisonment, Armen Bagasyan, Gor Gasparyan, Kamo Sefilyan, Volodya Hakobyan, Gevorg Asatryan, Sisak Engoyan, Albert Petrosyan, Romik Sedrakyan, Aram Minasyan, Mkrtych Minasyan, Edgar Maresyan and Yuriy Karapetyan to 6 months imprisonment.

Due to the expiration date of their sentence, Armen Bagasyan, Gor Gasparyan, Kamo Sefilyan, Volodya Hakobyan, Gevorg Asatryan, Sisak Engoyan, Albert Petrosyan, Romik Sedrakyan, Aram Minasyan, Mkrtych Minasyan, Edgar Maresyan and Yuriy Karapetyan were released in the courtroom.

 

Commentary by expert lawyer:

The court verdict is unlawful and unjustified. Under the Article 4 of the Azerbaijan Republic Law On Courts and Judges, the Courts are guided in their consideration of cases by the Constitution of the Azerbaijan Republic, laws and other legislative acts of the Azerbaijan Republic, as well as the International Treaties, to which the Azerbaijan Republic is one of the parties.

The Article 25 of the Constitution of the Azerbaijan Republic states:

  1. All people are equal with respect to the law and law court.

III. The state guarantees equality of rights and liberties of everyone, irrespective of race, nationality, religion, language, sex, origin, financial position, occupation, political convictions, membership in political parties, trade unions and other public organizations. Rights and liberties of a person, citizen cannot be restricted due to race, nationality, religion, language, sex, origin, conviction, political and social belonging.

The Article 7 On Courts and Judges also guarantees the equality of all before the Law and the Court.

Given that there has been a conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia for more than 30 years and that the military clashes between two countries resumed in September 2020, the above commented trial should have been handled by objective and impartial judges based only on the Azerbaijani and International laws.

 

One of the main violations was that the trial was conducted without ensuring the principle of openness. This principle is often violated by the Azerbaijani courts in “sensitive cases”. That trial was no exception. Any independent journalists or other public representatives were not allowed into the courtroom. Among those in the courtroom, only pro-government journalists, whose names were on an unofficial list of the Presidential Administration, were in attendance. All others were denied access to the courtroom.

 

According to the Article 27.1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Azerbaijan Republic,

 

While safeguarding state, professional, commercial, personal and family secrets in accordance with this Code, court hearings in criminal cases and on other prosecution material shall be held publicly in all courts of the Azerbaijan Republic.

 

The court’s verdict stated that the trial was held openly, but in reality, the court effectively deprived the defendants of their right to a public trial and the journalists wishing to cover the trial objectively of their right to obtain and share any kind of information.

In this context, there is a third party: namely, the public. If a journalist has a right to obtain and share the information, then the public has a right to get it, especially if it is a trial of a public interest.

The evidentiary foundation stated in the verdict is insufficient and incomplete. Thus, the verdict contains the testimony of one witness only, who either did not name any of the defendants or indicate what offence they had committed. The testimony of that eyewitness was also supported by the testimony of a second witness.

In addition, the evidentiary foundation consisted of the Azerbaijani State Security Service documents, which were irrelevant to the case commented upon.

According to the Article 124.2 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Azerbaijan Republic, the following shall be accepted as evidence in criminal proceedings:

  • statements by the suspect, the accused, the victim and witnesses;
  • the expert’s opinion;
  • material evidence;
  • records of investigative and court procedures;
  • other documents.

 

The Article 138.1 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Azerbaijan Republic states:

 

Proof shall consist in the obtention, verification and assessment of evidence in order to establish facts of importance for the lawful, thorough and equitable determination of the criminal charge.

According to the Article 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Azerbaijan Republic,

Evidence collected for the purposes of prosecution shall be verified fully, thoroughly and objectively. As part of the verification process the items of evidence collected shall be analysed and compared with one another, new evidence shall be collected and the reliability of the source of the evidence obtained shall be established.

The Article 145.1 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Azerbaijan Republic states:

All evidence shall be assessed as to its relevance, credibility and reliability. The content of all evidence collected for the purposes of prosecution shall be assessed in terms of whether it is sufficient to substantiate the charge.

According to the Article 145.3 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Azerbaijan Republic,

 

If suspicions which emerge during the process of proving the charge cannot be removed by other evidence, they shall be interpreted in favour of the suspect or accused.

 

As stipulated above, there was insufficient evidential matter in this criminal case. According to the Article 146.1 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Azerbaijan Republic,

 

The notion that sufficient evidence has been collected for the prosecution means that the amount of evidence on the facts to be determined is such as to allow a reliable and final conclusion to be reached on the case.

 

The defendants’ guilt was not proven and the doubts were not used in their favour at the trial.

Bearing the above in mind, it can be concluded that in the absence of a clear and sufficient evidential basis, the defendants’ right to liberty was violated.

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Razi Humbatov – unlawful imprisonment

Razi Humbatov – unlawful imprisonment

Razi Humbatov

Analysis of violation of law during Razi Humbatov’s judicial proceedings

Baku City Narimanov District Court

Case № 4(005)-684/2021

8 Juky 2021

Judge: Vusal Qurbanov

Defendant: Razi Humbatov

Defenders: Azizaga Aliyev, Javad Javadov

State Prosecutor: Ahad Najafov, a prosecutor of the Investigation Unit of the Department Combating Organized Crime of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Azerbaijan Republic

 

Razi Humbatov, a member of the political opposition “Muslim Unity” organisation, was detained in the village of Jeyranbatan in the Absheron district on 7 July 2021. He had been fighting against narco-addiction and campaigning for a healthy lifestyle for young people within the framework of his political and public activities. It is worth recalling that the police detained the Chairman of “Muslim Unity”, Taleh Bagirov, as well as all the members of the “Muslim Unity” Board and about 70 residents of the Nardaran settlement, 40 km from Baku, in the course of the police operation on 26 November 2015. Presently, Taleh Bagirov and several members of the organisation, sentenced to long terms of imprisonment (from 14 to 20 years), are being held in the Gobustan maximum security prison. T.Bagirov has been sentenced to 20 years imprisonment.

While Razi Humbatov was in the Interior Ministry’s Department for Combating Organized Crime, his own chosen lawyer, Javad Javadov, was not allowed to see him. In an interview with “Voice of America” on the radio, the lawyer said,

“In spite of my request to meet with my client, I did not receive q permission to see him. I plan to prepare a complaint for judicial review, as well as an appeal against the restraint order”. – https://www.amerikaninsesi.org/a/müsəlman-birliyi-hərəkatının-üzvü-saxlanılıb-/5959473.html

Razi Humbatov was charged with an offence under the Article 234.4.3 (Large-scale drug trafficking) of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic.

On 8 July 2021, at the closed court proceedings, the Baku City Narimanov District Court, having considered the matter of application of a preventive measure, ordered that R. Humbatov be detained in custody for a period of four months.

Commentary by expert lawyer:

The court verdict is unlawful and unjustified. According to the Article 28 of the Constitution of the Azerbaijan Republic,

  •  Everyone has the right for freedom
  •  Right for freedom might be restricted only as specified by law, by way of detention, arrest or imprisonment.

This right is enshrined in both National Law and International Treaties. For example, the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms states in the Article 5:

  • Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be deprived of his liberty save in the following cases and in accordance with a procedure prescribed by law:

(c) the lawful arrest or detention of a person effected for the purpose of bringing him before the competent legal authority on reasonable suspicion of having committed an offence or when it is reasonably considered necessary to prevent his committing an offence or fleeing after having done so.

According to the Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,

1. Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedure as are established by law.

The Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights also prohibits arbitrary arrest.

In the Article 153 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Azerbaijan Republic states:

153.1. Upon apprehension of any person, the prosecuting authority shall be obliged to ensure his rights under this Code, as well as under the Law of the Azerbaijan Republic “On ensuring the rights and freedoms of persons held in places of detention” for suspects or accused persons, depending on their legal status.

Under the Article 153.2 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Azerbaijan Republic, the rights of the detainee, that the personnel of the body conducting the criminal proceedings and the temporary detention facilities are obliged to ensure, and they are:

153.2.1. inform the detainee immediately after detaining him of the grounds for detention, and explain to him his right not to testify against himself and his close relatives as well as his right to the assistance of defence counsel;

153.2.2. take the detainee without delay to the police or other preliminary investigating authority’s temporary detention facility, register the detention, draw up a record and show him the detention record;

153.2.3. report each instance of detention, immediately after registration in the temporary detention facility, to the head of the appropriate preliminary investigating authority and to the prosecutor in charge of the procedural aspects of the investigation (this information shall be given in writing within 12 hours of detention);

153.2.4. secure the right of the person to inform others of his detention immediately after detention (the authority in charge of the temporary detention facility, on his own initiative, shall inform the family members of any detainees who are elderly, under age or unable to do so themselves because of their mental state);

153.2.5. provide opportunities for the person, from the moment of detention, to meet in private and in confidence with his lawyer and legal representative under decent conditions and under supervision;

153.2.6. if the detainee does not have a lawyer of his own, present him with a list of lawyers from the bar association offices in the vicinity of the temporary detention facility, contact the chosen lawyer and create an opportunity for the detainee to meet him;

153.2.7. if the financial position of the detainee does not enable him to retain a lawyer at his own expense, create an opportunity for him to meet the duty lawyer from one of the bar association offices in the vicinity of the temporary detention facility, at the state’s expense;

153.2.8. if the detainee refuses the services of a lawyer, receive his written request to that effect (if he evades writing the request, a record to that effect shall be drawn up between the lawyer and the representative of the temporary detention facility);

153.2.9. secure the right of any person who does not know the language of the criminal proceedings to use the services of an interpreter free of charge;

153.2.10. not treat the detainee in a way that fails to respect his personality or dignity, and pay special attention to women and persons who are under age, elderly, ill or disabled;

153.2.11. take the restrictive measure of arrest in respect of the detainee, and bring him to court in good time in order to ensure that the question of forcibly sending him to the place where the sentence or other final court decision is to be executed, replacing the penalty given to him with another or repealing his suspended sentence or conditional release is settled within the time limits provided for in Articles 148 and 150-152 of this Code.

Razi Humbatov was deprived of a number of his aforementioned rights. He was not informed at the time of his arrest of the reasons for his detention, his relatives were not made aware of his arrest, and the lawyer of his choice was not allowed to meet him.

There were no specific grounds in the court order that would justify the application of the most rigorous preventive measure, such as arrest.

The grounds justifying a preventive measure in the form of arrest could only be those set out in the Article 155 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Azerbaijan Republic, namely:

  • hidden from the prosecuting authority;
  • obstructed the normal course of the investigation or court proceedings by illegally influencing parties to the criminal proceedings, hiding material significant to the prosecution or engaging in falsification;
  • committed a further act provided for in criminal law or created a public threat;
  • failed to comply with a summons from the prosecuting authority, without good reason, or otherwise evaded criminal responsibility or punishment;
  • prevented execution of a court judgment.

The court order states the following grounds regarding the detention: hiding from the body conducting the criminal proceedings, obstructing the normal course of the preliminary investigation or court proceedings by means of illegal pressure on persons involved in criminal proceedings, concealing or falsifying materials relevant to criminal proceedings, recommitting an offence punishable by the criminal law or representing a danger to society, failure to attend without a valid excuse when summoned by the body conducting the criminal proceedings or otherwise evading criminal responsibility and serving the sentence, the identity of the accused, the nature and gravity of the incriminated offence, the intended sentence of more than 2 years.

Apparently, the court cited all the grounds set out in the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Azerbaijan Republic Articles, but it did not provide reasons or evidence that these grounds actually occurred in Razi Humbatov’s case.

In proclaiming the right to liberty, this Article refers to personal freedom in its classical sense, that is, the physical freedom of the individual. In order to determine whether a person is deprived of his or her liberty, it is necessary to take into account his or her specific situation and all the criteria, such as the type of offence, the length of imprisonment, the consequences and detention conditions of the measure in question. By virtue of the principle of an exhaustive list of cases in which a person may be deprived of liberty, detention is in conformity with the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms only if this measure is applicable to one of the 5 cases listed exhaustively in the Article 5 of the European Convention. The list provided in this article cannot be interpreted in a broad manner, which greatly limits States’ flexibility.

Further, for deprivation of liberty to be compatible with the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, it must meet two conditions: lawfulness and legitimacy. Thus, the deprivation of liberty must first and foremost be lawful in terms of domestic law; in this respect, it is incumbent on the national judicial authorities to interpret domestic law in a particular area. That law must nevertheless be in conformity with the European Convention and the general principles enshrined in the European Convention must be respected. In particular, the domestic process must be fair and appropriate. The deprivation of liberty must also be justified, i.e. it must be in line with the purpose of one of the cases included in the exhaustive list contained in the article in question (European Court of Human Rights case law, Michele da Silva, 2004, St. Petersburg).

Razi Humbatov’s disappearance and the lack of any information concerning his whereabouts within 24 hours is in violation of the Article 5 of the European Convention, which is the responsibility of the state authorities.

In the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in the case of Kurt v. Turkey, dated on 25 May 1998, the ECHR assessed the applicant’s disappearance as follows, “121. The Commission believes that the disappearance of the applicant’s son raises fundamental and very serious concerns in the light of the Article 5. The guarantees provided by this Article are essential to ensure the human rights set out in the Articles 2 and 3. If it is established that Yüzeyir Kurt was detained by the security forces on 25 November 1993, the responsibility for the subsequent fate of the applicant’s son lies within the Turkish authorities. The Government could rebut the presumption by providing a credible and substantiated explanation for Eüzeyir Kurt’s disappearance and evidence that the authorities had taken effective steps to investigate the reasons for his disappearance and their subsequent fate. Комиссия пришла к выводу о том, что ни одно из этих требований не выполнено. For this reason, the Commission concludes that the unconfirmed fact of Yüzeyir Kurt’s detention by the security forces and his subsequent disappearance is a clear violation of the human rights provided for in the Article 5 of the Convention.” –

In the paragraph 122 of the European Court of Human Rights judgment it is written, “The Court underlines the fundamental significance of the human rights protections, contained in the Article 5, against unlawful arrest or detention by the authorities in a democratic society. It is for that reason that the Court has repeatedly emphasized in its judgments that any deprivation of liberty must not only be in accordance with the substantive procedural rules of National Law but also meet the purposes of the Article 5, i.e. to protect the individual from arbitrariness on the part of the State authorities. This imperative requirement to protect an individual against any kind of abuse by the authorities is confirmed by the fact that Article 5(1) confines the circumstances under which a person may be lawfully deprived of his liberty, although these grounds cannot be interpreted vaguely, since they are exemptions from the fundamental human freedom guarantees”.

https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/fre#{“fulltext”:[“Kurt”],”itemid”:[“001-58198”]}

In view of the above, we conclude that the arrest of Razi Humbatov lacked any legitimate intention, did not comply with the requirements of National and International Laws, and also contradicted the European Court of Human Rights precedents, which are of a recommendatory nature for the Council of Europe member states.

 

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Dr. Leyla Yunus’s speech on the meeting of Subcommittee on Human Rights of the European Parliament on 17 June 2021

June 17, 2021

Azerbaijan cannot be a partner of the European Union

Dr. Leyla Yunus

Director of the Institute for Peace and Democracy

In April 2021, the EU resumed negotiations with the Azerbaijan Republic in the framework of the Eastern Partnership regarding the human rights situation in this country. Violations of the human rights and democratic freedoms in Azerbaijan are ongoing, and in recent years the situation has become even more dramatic. We”ll illustrate it with the existence of political prisoners in the Republic. As of today, there are hundred eleven political prisoners within the country with a population of ten million people. All the information concerning these prisoners is available on the website of our Institute for Peace and Democracy (IPD), right here:

Political prisoners for 5 april 2021

The number of political prisoners in the country never falls below 100 people. Today they are divided into 7 groups:

This list consists of 7 groups and includes 111 people:

  • Group № 1 Journalists and Bloggers – 7 persons
  • Group № 2 Members of Opposition Parties and Movements – 6 persons
  • Group № 3 Arrested after the rally on July 14-15, 2020 – 3 persons
  • Group № 4 Peaceful Believers – 18 persons
  • Group № 5 Convicted in Tartar case – 25 persons
  • Group № 6 Convicted in Ganja case – 38 persons
  • Group № 7 Life Term Sentenced – 14 persons

The group #1 includes 7 journalists and bloggers convicted for criticizing the authorities or the President Ilham Aliyev. The IPD website displays a number of legal studies of the trials, which show that innocent people were sentenced on trumped-up charges with illegal and unreasonable sentences that deprived them of their liberty:

– Analysis of the trial against the journalist and human defender Elchin Mammad – https://www.ipd-az.org/elchin-mamed/

– Analysis of the trial against the journalist Polad Aslanov – https://www.ipd-az.org/polad-aslanv/

– Analysis of the trial against the journalist Afgan Sadigov, who immediately after receiving an unlawful sentence declared a hunger strike and fell into a coma:

Afghan Sadigov, a journalist, went on a hunger strike immediately after being illegally convicted and in 82 days he fell into coma…

– Analysis of the trial against the journalists and civic activists Elchin Hasanzade and Ibrahim Salamov: https://www.ipd-az.org/there-is-no-freedom-of-speech-in-azerbaijan/

The IPD had no opportunity to monitor and analyze all the trials that had been arranged by means of political persecution. Yet, the violation of the national Azerbaijani legislation and International Law throughout all the trials analyzed by the IPD lawyers clearly indicates there is no independent judicial system in the country and political repression prevails.

We analyzed the trial of Saleh Rustamov, Aqil Maharramov and other from the group Members of opposition parties and movements: https://www.ipd-az.org/baku-city-court-on-grave-crimes-passed-a-sentence-on-5-defendants-on-so-called-case-illegal-financing-of-azerbaijani-popular-front-party/

Also, trial of Pasha Umudov: https://www.ipd-az.org/pasha-umudov/

The repression against peaceful believers in Azerbaijan has been a constant problem. Currently, there are 18 individuals in the Peaceful Believers group. The beatings, torture, unjustified long terms of imprisonment (for 17-20 years) lead only to the forced radicalization of peaceful believers. Meanwhile, the courts simply ignored the appeals to the court regarding prisoners’ torture, as they rejected the appeal about torture of Abbas Huseynov in the Gobustan prison. A legal analysis of this trial here: https://www.ipd-az.org/the-court-rejected-the-complaint-of-abbas-huseynov-about-torture/

The worst crime of the Aliyev regime in recent years is Terter case.

In 2017, without a court decision, about 2.000 people were arrested, mainly military personnel in Terter region. Most of them were charged with treason. According to information, gathered by IPD, in May 2017 the investigators of Military Procurator’s Office in Terter region, in Azerbaijan, killed 11 citizens of Azerbaijan, under tortures:

  •  Mehman Huseynov was arrested on May 7, his body was buried on May 16, 2017.
  • Sahavat Bunyadov was arrested on May 7, his body was buried on May 17, 2017.
  • Saleh Gafarov was arrested on May 4, his body was buried on May 14, 2017.
  • Elchin Quliyev was arrested on May 11, his body was buried on May 18, 2017.
  • Tamkin Nizamioglu was arrested on May 12, his body was buried on May 21, 2017.
  • Dayandur Azizli was arrested on May 12, his body was buried on July 20, 2017.
  • Suleyman Kazymov was arrested on May 4, his body was buried on May 7, 2017.
  • Elkhan Agazade was arrested on May 1, his body was buried on May 10, 2017.
  • Elchin Mirzaliyev was arrested on May 7, his body was buried on May 25, 2017.
  • Ruslan Odjaqverdiyev was arrested in the morning on May 16, 2017. The body of beaten to death Ruslan Odjaqverdiyev was given out in the evening on May 16, 2017.
  • Adil Tehran oglu Sabirli was beaten to death on May 5, 2017

OMCT did Statement on Terter case “Azerbaijan: 11 deaths in custody and other serious human rights violations in the “Terter case”: https://www.omct.org/en/resources/statements/azerbaijan-11-deaths-in-custody-and-other-serious-human-rights-violations-in-the-terter-case

But this terrible crime the Azerbaijani authorities hide. Our IPD has information about 25 citizens sentenced to long terms of imprisonment (from 8 to 20 years). However, the number of convicts is more – 78 men. All trials took place in closed military courts.

Nevertheless, the lawyers of the IPD having received the documents from the two Terter trials, made their analyses. See:

The trial of 7 persons involved in the so-called “Terter case”

Another unjustified accusation of “homeland treason”

The legal examination of those two trials revealed the absolute innocence of people sentenced to jail terms from 9 to 18 years on trumped-up charges.

There are 38 people in the Convicted in Ganja case group who had been also convicted on fabricated charges, and their trials were also studied by our lawyers.

The most regrettable is the group of Life Term Sentenced, 14 people. These are people who have been imprisoned since 1994-1995, and they were considered political prisoners by the Council of Europe experts at the time of Azerbaijan’s entrance into the CoE. However, over a quarter of a century their number has been decreasing due solely to those who have died in prison.

Political repression, torture and murder caused with torture are the Azerbaijani reality. There are no independent judicial system in Azerbaijan. All judges follow instructions from the President’s office.

And if the judge does not follow the instructions from above, he immediately ceases to be a judge. As it happened with the judge of the Sabunchi District Court of Baku Samir Talybov, who on April 1, 2020 made a fair decision and released Aqil Humbatov, who criticized president on Facebook, from forced placement in a psychiatric hospital.

The next day, the judge Samir Talybov, who had released Aqil Humbatov from the psychiatric hospital, was called from the presidential office and asked to write a statement about his voluntary resignation, which he did. Within one day, the Judicial and Legal Counsel of Azerbaijan dismissed Samir Talybov from his post of judge… Here: https://www.ipd-az.org/agil-gumbatov/

Law enforcement officers fabricate accusations against critics of government officials, first of all, Ilham Aliyev, and personally torture and kill people.

Since 2014, lawyers who have the courage to defend the rights of political prisoners have been expelled from the Bar Association, just as Alaif Hasanov, Khalid Bagirov, Yalchin Imanov, Muzafar Bakhyshev, Aslan Ismayilov and Elchin Namazov were expelled.

The installation of the ugly wax figures of Armenian soldiers in the so-called Victory Park in the center of the capital, city of Baku, can in no way contribute to the establishment of peace and good trustful relations between the nations of Armenia and Azerbaijan. It would be logical to expect a change of attitude towards Armenia following the victory in the Second Karabakh War: a cessation of Armenophobia, harassment of our own citizens who have family ties with Armenians, using the word Armenian as an insulting curse, etc. But that didn’t happen.

The Subcommittee on Human Rights of the European Parliament should hold a special meeting to discuss the human rights situation in Azerbaijan.

There are no independent press in Azerbaijan, and freedom of speech is brutally suppressed. In fact, there are no officially registered independent NGO in Azerbaijan; the civil society was crushed in 2014. And currently, Ilham Aliyev has turned to suppressing independent voices outside the country.

The one of the first attack was carried out on 29th of January 2020 against the political emigrant from Azerbaijan blogger Qabil Mammadov (resident in Germany Bergkamen) . He was attacked and severely beaten by unknown persons who used tear gas against him.  His young son was present at the scene and is in the state of the psychological shock as the result of the attack against his father.

On March 14, 2021 there was an attempt upon the life of political emigrant from Azerbaijan, blogger Muhammad Mirzali. The attempt took place in France in Nantes City. Several unidentified attackers brutally beat, stabbed him multiple times and fled.

On May 2, 2021, Bayram Mammadov, a well-respected critic of the Aliyev regime, died under unclear circumstances in Turkey.

Unfortunately, Europe pays no attention to the crimes committed by the Aliyev regime.

Nowadays, a country such as Azerbaijan is not a reliable and worthy partner for the EU.

Dr. Leyla Yunus

Director of Institute for Peace and Democracy

Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor

Winner of International Theodore Hacker Award

Laureate of Polish Sergio Vieira de Mello Award

Winner of Battle of Crete Award

Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought of the European Parliament Finalist

E-mail: yunus.arif.leyla@gmail.com

Website: https://www.ipd-az.org

Skype: arif.yunusov1

Tel.: +31 611 43 59 90

 

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Dr.Leyla Yunus’s speech on the video-conference of Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly Council of Europe on 17 May 2021

All video-conference here:

https://vodmanager.coe.int/coe/webcast/coe/2021-05-17-2/en

 

Dr. Leyla Yunus

Director of the Institute for Peace and Democracy, Azerbaijan/Netherlands

Azerbaijan ignores the Resolution 2322 (2020) on reported cases of political prisoners in Azerbaijan

When Azerbaijan joined the Council of Europe in 2001, three experts of the Council of Europe visited the country and made sure that there were several hundred political prisoners in Azerbaijan. And as indicated in paragraph No. 10 of Resolution 2322 (2020):

10 When Azerbaijan joined the Council of Europe, it recognised the existence of political prisoners and co-operated on measures to release them. Since then, its position has shifted to one of denial.

After the replacement of Heydar Aliyev as president in 2003 by his son Ilham, the Azerbaijan government, first of all Ilham Aliyev, deny the presence of political prisoners in the country. All the listed PACE resolutions: Resolution 1272 (2002), Resolution 1359 (2004), Resolution 1457 (2005) and Resolution 2185 (2017) are completely ignored by Ilham Aliyev. Resolution 2322 (2020) adopted in January 2020 is also ignored.

There are currently 111 political prisoners in detention:

  • Group № 1 Journalists and Bloggers – 7 persons
  • Group № 2 Members of Opposition Parties and Movements – 6 persons
  • Group № 3 Arrested after the rally on July 14-15, 2020 – 3 persons
  • Group № 4 Peaceful Believers – 18 persons
  • Group № 5 Convicted in Terter case – 25 persons
  • Group № 6 Convicted in Ganja case – 38 persons
  • Group № 7 Life Term Sentenced – 14 persons

Life Term Sentenced prisoners have been imprisoned since 1994-1995, that is, for more

than 25 years. Their number is reduced only as a result of death in prison.

As indicated in paragraph No. 7 of the Resolution 2322 (2020)

7 The Assembly recalls the findings of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) showing that detainees, including political prisoners, are at risk of inadequate conditions and serious ill-treatment in Azerbaijani police stations, pre-trial detention centers and prisons.

Torture and murder under torture are regularly in Azerbaijan.

The worst crime of the Aliyev regime in recent years is Terter case.

In 2017, without a court decision, about 2.000 people were arrested, mainly military personnel in Terter region. Most of them were charged with treason. According to information, gathered by IPD, in May 2017 the investigators of Military Procurator’s Office in Terter region, in Azerbaijan, killed 11 citizens of Azerbaijan, under tortures:

  1. Mehman Huseynov was arrested on May 7, his body was buried on May 16, 2017.
  2. Sahavat Bunyadov was arrested on May 7, his body was buried on May 17, 2017.
  3. Saleh Gafarov was arrested on May 4, his body was buried on May 14, 2017.
  4. Elchin Quliyev was arrested on May 11, his body was buried on May 18, 2017.
  5. Tamkin Nizamioglu was arrested on May 12, his body was buried on May 21, 2017.
  6. Dayandur Azizli was arrested on May 12, his body was buried on July 20, 2017.
  7. Suleyman Kazymov was arrested on May 4, his body was buried on May 7, 2017.
  8. Elkhan Agazade was arrested on May 1, his body was buried on May 10, 2017.
  9. Elchin Mirzaliyev was arrested on May 7, his body was buried on May 25, 2017.
  10. Ruslan Odjaqverdiyev was arrested in the morning on May 16, 2017. The body of beaten to death Ruslan Odjaqverdiyev was given out in the evening on May 16, 2017.
  11. Adil Tehran oglu Sabirli was beaten to death on May 5, 2017

OMCT did Statement on Terter case “Azerbaijan: 11 deaths in custody and other serious human rights violations in the “Terter case”:

https://www.omct.org/en/resources/statements/azerbaijan-11-deaths-in-custody-and-other-serious-human-rights-violations-in-the-terter-case

But this terrible crime the Azerbaijani authorities hide.

Our IPD has information about 25 citizens sentenced to long terms of imprisonment (from 8 to 20 years). However, the number of convicts is more – 78 persons. All trials took place in closed military courts.

In paragraph No. 9 of the Resolution 2322 (2020) it is written:

9 The Assembly welcomes the steps taken by the Azerbaijani authorities in recent years to reform the penitentiary, criminal justice and judicial systems, ….

But in reality no reforms at all. And there are no independent judicial system in Azerbaijan. All judges follow instructions from the President’s office.

And if the judge does not follow the instructions from above, he immediately ceases to be a judge. As it happened with the judge of the Sabunchi District Court of Baku Samir Talybov, who on April 1, 2020 made a fair decision and released Aqil Humbatov, who criticized president on Facebook, from forced placement in a psychiatric hospital.

The next day, the judge Samir Talybov, who had released Aqil Humbatov from the psychiatric hospital, was called from the presidential office and asked to write a statement about his voluntary resignation, which he did. Within one day, the Judicial and Legal Counsel of Azerbaijan dismissed Samir Talybov from his post of judge… Here: https://www.ipd-az.org/agil-gumbatov/

Law enforcement officers fabricate accusations against critics of government officials, first of all, Ilham Aliyev, and personally torture and kill people.

Since 2014, lawyers who have the courage to defend the rights of political prisoners have been expelled from the Bar Association, just as Alaif Hasanov, Khalid Bagirov, Yalchin Imanov, Muzafar Bakhyshev, Aslan Ismayilov and Elchin Namazov were expelled.

All proposals in paragraph 11 of Resolution 2322 (2020) are completely ignored.

Not Azerbaijani Parliament and its members, no the Azerbaijani Government did not and do not recognize formally all of the findings of the European Court of Human Rights in its judgments establishing a violation of Article 18 of the European Convention.

There are no free and democratic elections in Azerbaijan and all members of the parliament of Azerbaijan are appointed as deputies in the presidential apparatus.

Apply to this deputies to use their legislative and executive oversight roles to ensure that all necessary measures are taken to implement fully and effectively the European Court of Human Rights judgments and prevent further recurrence of politically motivated arbitrary detention is very naive. They are no independent, they cannot do it.

In Azerbaijan government, in Azerbaijan there are not an independent and impartial body, which can be release political prisoners.

The requirements of the ECHR are also ignored. The ECHR has found a violation of Article 18 of the European Convention against more than 10 political prisoners.

The Plenum of the Supreme Court should be an acquittal against everyone from whom ECHR found a violation of Article 18.

However, the Plenum of the Supreme Court of the Azerbaijan Republic overturned the sentences only in respect of Ilqar Mammadov and Rasul Jafarov.

Despite numerous appeals, the Plenum of the Supreme Court does not consider the cases of Anar Mammadli, Rashadad Akhundov, Zaur Qurbanli, Uzeyir Mammadli, Rashad Hasanov, Khadija Ismayilova, Intigam Aliyev.

In the autumn of 2020, Anar Mammadli appealed to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe , pointing to the refusal of the Plenum of the Supreme Court of Azerbaijan to consider his case.

The statement of the deputies of the Azerbaijani Parliament that the Plenum of the Supreme Court of Azerbaijan suspended its work due to the pandemic and the war with Armenia is not true.

After judgement in case of Ilqar Mammadov and Rasul Jafarov on 23 April 2020, the Plenum met several times: on 7 May and 18 September 2020, on 2 and 19 February 2021 and last time on 30 April 2021. But did not consider the cases of other persons in whose the ECHR decided on violation of Article 18 of the European Convention.

The ECHR also recognized a violation of Article 18 against me, Leyla Yunus, and my husband Arif. We can and must be acquitted by the Appeal Court, where our case is pending. On the contrary, the Appeal Court suspended the criminal case and put our names on the international wanted list through Interpol. This shows that Azerbaijan is not going to implement the decision of the ECHR and acquit us.

So, none of the provisions of Resolution 2322 (2020) has been implemented.

P.S. According to the relatives of those killed under torture and convicted in the Terter case, about 2.000 people were arrested and 1.438 people were tortured. I was given the names of 101 people who were tortured. Currently, 78 people are in custody.

 

 

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The trial against 11 individuals in the so-called “Terter case”

The trial against 11 individuals in the so-called “Terter case”

One of the most top-secret and bloody crimes of the Aliyev regime

Turan Ibrahimli
Mushfiq Ahmadli
Nasif Aliyev
Faiq Ahmadov Atabey Rahimov

Analysis of violation of law during the next “Terter case”  judicial proceedings

 

Terter City Military Court

Case №1 (098)-91/2018

14 June 2018

Presiding judge: Ilqar Quliyev

Judges: Ahmad Sariyev, Vidadi Nasirov

The State Prosecutors: Mr. Ismayil Aliyev, the Senior Prosecutor of the Defence of Public Prosecutions Department at the Azerbaijan Republic Military Prosecutor’s Office; Ismail Aliyev, Justice Advisor; Lieutenant-Colonel Javid Jumshudov, the Prosecutor of the Public Defence Prosecutions Department at the Azerbaijan Republic Public Prosecution Office; Nijat Huseynli, a first-rank lawyer of the Azerbaijan Republic Public Prosecution Office

Defendants: Sultan Zeydullayev, Rauf Orujev, Atabey Rahimov, Emin Adilzade, Faiq Ahmadov, Nasif Aliyev, Majid Qasimov, Mushfiq Ahmadli, Alizamin Quliyev, Turan Ibrahimli, Mirpasha Mehdiyev

Defenders: Tofiq Allahverdiyev, Telman Suleymanov, Fuad Iskandarov, Humbat Salahov, Ramiz Abdullayev, Jafar Hajiyev, Zabil Qahramanov, Seymur Zeynalov, Shamsaddin Quliyev, Yusif Seyidov, Islam Teymurov, Fuzuli Nabiyev

Victims: Agasif Safarov, Tehran Alizamanli, Bahaddin Nuruzade, Vasif Mammadaliyev, Aqil Shafiyev, Elmaddin Jafarov, Qurban Ahmadov, Ulvin Talybov, Kamran Humbatov, Shaban Quziyev, Nazir Qudratov, Izzat Suleymanov, Zaur Mammadov, Fariz Farzaliyev, Orkhan Afqanli, Joshqun Abbasov, Nadjmaddin Karimov, Farzali Jakhangirov, Namiq Farkhadov, Elmir Bagirov, Dursun Alili, Elnur Hajiyev, Ramin Isayev, Tahir Mahmudov, Nemat Maharramov, Elshan Quliyev, Aga Shahpelengov, Ibrahim Ibadly, Talat Khankishizade, Nurlan Jabrayilzade, Bakhlul Mammadagazade, Ilkin Julmaliyev, Vusal Ibrahimov, Safarali Nabiyev, Kerim Yaserli, Shariyar Agayev

Representatives of victims: Adalat Hajiyev, Teymur Mammadov, Jamil Hasanov

Legal successor of the victim: Rahib Abbasov

Sultan Zeydullayev, born in 1989, a native of Baku City, an Azerbaijani Armed Forces lieutenant, was charged with committing crimes under the Articles:
• 134. (Threat to murder or causing of serious harm to health),
• 150.2.1. (Buggery or other actions of sexual nature, committed by a group of persons, by a group with a premeditated conspiracy or by an organized group),
• 150.2.4. (Buggery actions of sexual nature, carried out with a particular cruelty against the victim (male, female) or against other individuals),
• 150.2.5. (Buggery actions of sexual nature, committed repeatedly),
• 151. (Coercion into actions of sexual nature),
• 274. (State betray),
• 329.3. (Resistance to a chief, as well as to other person, implementing duties of military service assigned to him, or his compulsion to infringement of these duties, connected with violence or with threat of its application, committed in wartime or fighting conditions),
• 330.3. (Causing easy harm to health of the chief or causing to him injuries in connection with execution of duties by him on military service, committed in wartime or fighting conditions),
• 331.2. (The insult by chief of subordinate, as well as by subordinate of chief during performance or in connection with performance of duties on military service),
• 331.3. (Causing injuries or tortures by chief of subordinate during performance or in connection with performance of duties on military services),
• 332.3. (Infringement of authorized rules on mutual relation between military men at absence of subordination relations, committed entailed to heavy consequences),
• 338.1. (Infringement of rules on implementing fighting watch (fighting service) on duly detection and reflection of sudden attack on the Azerbaijan Republic or maintenance of its safety if this act could harm interests of safety of the state),
• 338.2. (The same act which harmed interests of state safety or has entailed to other heavy consequences),
• 341.3 (Complicity in abuse of authority or official position committed in wartime or during combat),
• 349.2.1. (Deliberate destruction or damage of a weapon, supplies, military engineering or other military property, at absence of attributes of other crime, committed repeatedly),
• 349.2.2. (Deliberate destruction or damage of a weapon, supplies, military engineering or other military property, at absence of attributes of other crime, committed by group of persons),
• 349.2.3. (Deliberate destruction or damage of a weapon, supplies, military engineering or other military property, at absence of attributes of other crime, entailed to heavy consequences),
• 349.2.4. (Deliberate destruction or damage of a weapon, supplies, military engineering or other military property, at absence of attributes of other crime, committed in wartime or in fighting conditions), of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic.

Rauf Orujev, born in 1984, a native of Sumqayit City, an Azerbaijani Armed Forces soldier, was charged with committing crimes under the Articles:
• 274. (State betray),
• 338.1. (Infringement of rules on implementing fighting watch (fighting service) on duly detection and reflection of sudden attack on the Azerbaijan Republic or maintenance of its safety if this act could harm interests of safety of the state),
• 338.2. (The same act which harmed interests of state safety or has entailed to other heavy consequences),
• 341.3 (Complicity in abuse of authority or official position committed in wartime or during combat) of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic.

Atabey Rahimov, born in 1994, a native of Lerik District, an Azerbaijani Armed Forces lieutenant, was charged with committing crimes under the Articles:
• 134. (Threat to murder or causing of serious harm to health),
• 150.2.1. (Buggery or other actions of sexual nature, committed by a group of persons, by a group with a premeditated conspiracy or by an organized group),
• 150.2.4. (Buggery actions of sexual nature, carried out with a particular cruelty against the victim (male, female) or against other individuals),
• 150.2.5. (Buggery actions of sexual nature, committed repeatedly),
• 151. (Coercion into actions of sexual nature),
• 274. (State betray),
• 329.3. (Resistance to a chief, as well as to other person, implementing duties of military service assigned to him, or his compulsion to infringement of these duties, connected with violence or with threat of its application, committed in wartime or fighting conditions),
• 331.2. (The insult by chief of subordinate, as well as by subordinate of chief during performance or in connection with performance of duties on military service),
• 338.1. (Infringement of rules on implementing fighting watch (fighting service) on duly detection and reflection of sudden attack on the Azerbaijan Republic or maintenance of its safety if this act could harm interests of safety of the state),
• 338.2. (The same act which harmed interests of state safety or has entailed to other heavy consequences),
• 341.3 (Complicity in abuse of authority or official position committed in wartime or during combat) of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic.

Emin Adilzade, born in 1993, a native of Beylaqan District, an Azerbaijani Armed Forces soldier, was charged with committing crimes under the Articles:
• 274. (State betray),
• 331.2. (The insult by chief of subordinate, as well as by subordinate of chief during performance or in connection with performance of duties on military service),
• 331.3. (Causing injuries or tortures by chief of subordinate during performance or in connection with performance of duties on military services),
• 338.1. (Infringement of rules on implementing fighting watch (fighting service) on duly detection and reflection of sudden attack on the Azerbaijan Republic or maintenance of its safety if this act could harm interests of safety of the state),
• 338.2. (The same act which harmed interests of state safety or has entailed to other heavy consequences),
• 341.3 (Complicity in abuse of authority or official position committed in wartime or during combat) of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic.

Mirpasha Mehdiyev, born in 1995, a native of Agdjabedi District, an Azerbaijani Armed Forces soldier, was charged with committing crimes under the Articles:
• 134. (Threat to murder or causing of serious harm to health),
• 150.2.1. (Buggery or other actions of sexual nature, committed by a group of persons, by a group with a premeditated conspiracy or by an organized group),
• 150.2.4. (Buggery actions of sexual nature, carried out with a particular cruelty against the victim (male, female) or against other individuals),
• 151. (Coercion into actions of sexual nature),
• 228.1. (Illegal purchase, transfer, selling, storage, transportation or carrying of fire-arms, accessories to it, supplies (except for the smooth-bore hunting weapon and ammunition to it), explosives),
• 274. (State betray),
• 331.2. (The insult by chief of subordinate, as well as by subordinate of chief during performance or in connection with performance of duties on military service),
• 331.3. (Causing injuries or tortures by chief of subordinate during performance or in connection with performance of duties on military services),
• 338.1. (Infringement of rules on implementing fighting watch (fighting service) on duly detection and reflection of sudden attack on the Azerbaijan Republic or maintenance of its safety if this act could harm interests of safety of the state),
• 338.2. (The same act which harmed interests of state safety or has entailed to other heavy consequences),
• 341.3 (Complicity in abuse of authority or official position committed in wartime or during combat) of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic.

Faiq Ahmadov, born in 1990, a native of Neftchala District, an Azerbaijani Armed Forces soldier, was charged with committing crimes under the Articles:
• 120.2.1. (Deliberate murder, committed by group of persons, on preliminary arrangement by group of persons, by organized group or criminal community (organization);
• 120.2.4. (Deliberate murder, committed with special cruelty or in publicly dangers way);
• 120.2.12. (Deliberate murder, committed on motive of national, racial, religious hatred or enmity);
• 134. (Threat to murder or causing of serious harm to health),
• 150.2.4. (Buggery actions of sexual nature, carried out with a particular cruelty against the victim (male, female) or against other individuals),
• 150.2.5. (Buggery actions of sexual nature, committed repeatedly),
• 151. (Coercion into actions of sexual nature),
• 274. (State betray),
• 329.3. (Resistance to a chief, as well as to other person, implementing duties of military service assigned to him, or his compulsion to infringement of these duties, connected with violence or with threat of its application, committed in wartime or fighting conditions),
• 331.2. (The insult by chief of subordinate, as well as by subordinate of chief during performance or in connection with performance of duties on military service),
• 331.3. (Causing injuries or tortures by chief of subordinate during performance or in connection with performance of duties on military services),
• 338.1. (Infringement of rules on implementing fighting watch (fighting service) on duly detection and reflection of sudden attack on the Azerbaijan Republic or maintenance of its safety if this act could harm interests of safety of the state),
• 338.2. (The same act which harmed interests of state safety or has entailed to other heavy consequences),
• 341.3 (Complicity in abuse of authority or official position committed in wartime or during combat),
• 349.2.1. (Deliberate destruction or damage of a weapon, supplies, military engineering or other military property, at absence of attributes of other crime, committed repeatedly),
• 349.2.2. ((Deliberate destruction or damage of a weapon, supplies, military engineering or other military property, at absence of attributes of other crime, committed by group of persons),
• 349.2.3. (Deliberate destruction or damage of a weapon, supplies, military engineering or other military property, at absence of attributes of other crime, entailed to heavy consequences),
• 349.2.4. (Deliberate destruction or damage of a weapon, supplies, military engineering or other military property, at absence of attributes of other crime, committed in wartime or in fighting conditions) of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic.

Nasif Aliyev, born in 1993, a native of Baku City, an Azerbaijani Armed Forces soldier, was charged with committing crimes under the Articles:
• 134. (Threat to murder or causing of serious harm to health),
• 150.2.1. (Buggery or other actions of sexual nature, committed by a group of persons, by a group with a premeditated conspiracy or by an organized group),
• 150.2.4. (Buggery actions of sexual nature, carried out with a particular cruelty against the victim (male, female) or against other individuals),
• 150.2.5. (Buggery actions of sexual nature, committed repeatedly),
• 151. (Coercion into actions of sexual nature),
• 274. (State betray),
• 329.3. (Resistance to a chief, as well as to other person, implementing duties of military service assigned to him, or his compulsion to infringement of these duties, connected with violence or with threat of its application, committed in wartime or fighting conditions),
• 349.2.1. (Deliberate destruction or damage of a weapon, supplies, military engineering or other military property, at absence of attributes of other crime, committed repeatedly),
• 349.2.2. (Deliberate destruction or damage of a weapon, supplies, military engineering or other military property, at absence of attributes of other crime, committed by group of persons),
• 349.2.3. (Deliberate destruction or damage of a weapon, supplies, military engineering or other military property, at absence of attributes of other crime, entailed to heavy consequences),
• 349.2.4. (Deliberate destruction or damage of a weapon, supplies, military engineering or other military property, at absence of attributes of other crime, committed in wartime or in fighting conditions) of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic.

Majid Qasimov, born in 1987, a native of Qazakh District, an Azerbaijani Armed Forces soldier, was charged with committing crimes under the Articles:
• 134. (Threat to murder or causing of serious harm to health),
• 150.2.1. (Buggery or other actions of sexual nature, committed by a group of persons, by a group with a premeditated conspiracy or by an organized group),
• 150.2.4. (Buggery actions of sexual nature, carried out with a particular cruelty against the victim (male, female) or against other individuals),
• 150.2.5. (Buggery actions of sexual nature, committed repeatedly),
• 151. (Coercion into actions of sexual nature),
• 274. (State betray),
• 329.3. (Resistance to a chief, as well as to other person, implementing duties of military service assigned to him, or his compulsion to infringement of these duties, connected with violence or with threat of its application, committed in wartime or fighting conditions),
• 331.2. (The insult by chief of subordinate, as well as by subordinate of chief during performance or in connection with performance of duties on military service),
• 331.3. (Causing injuries or tortures by chief of subordinate during performance or in connection with performance of duties on military services),
• 332.2.1. (Infringement of authorized rules on mutual relation between military men at absence of subordination relations, committed repeatedly),
• 332.2.2. (Infringement of authorized rules on mutual relation between military men at absence of subordination relations, committed two or more persons),
• 332.2.3. (Infringement of authorized rules on mutual relation between military men at absence of subordination relations, committed by group of persons, on preliminary arrangement by group of persons or by organized group),
• 332.2.4. (Infringement of authorized rules on mutual relation between military men at absence of subordination relations, committed with application of a weapon),
• 332.3. (Infringement of authorized rules on mutual relation between military men at absence of subordination relations, committed entailed to heavy consequences),
• 338.1. (Infringement of rules on implementing fighting watch (fighting service) on duly detection and reflection of sudden attack on the Azerbaijan Republic or maintenance of its safety if this act could harm interests of safety of the state),
• 338.2. (The same act which harmed interests of state safety or has entailed to other heavy consequences),
• 341.3 (Complicity in abuse of authority or official position committed in wartime or during combat),
• 349.2.1. (Deliberate destruction or damage of a weapon, supplies, military engineering or other military property, at absence of attributes of other crime, committed repeatedly),
• 349.2.2. (Deliberate destruction or damage of a weapon, supplies, military engineering or other military property, at absence of attributes of other crime, committed by group of persons),
• 349.2.3. (Deliberate destruction or damage of a weapon, supplies, military engineering or other military property, at absence of attributes of other crime, entailed to heavy consequences),
• 349.2.4. (Deliberate destruction or damage of a weapon, supplies, military engineering or other military property, at absence of attributes of other crime, committed in wartime or in fighting conditions) of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic.

Mushfiq Ahmadli, born in 1990, a native of Barda City, an Azerbaijani Armed Forces soldier, was charged with committing crimes under the Articles:
• 134. (Threat to murder or causing of serious harm to health),
• 150.2.1. (Buggery or other actions of sexual nature, committed by a group of persons, by a group with a premeditated conspiracy or by an organized group),
• 150.2.4. (Buggery actions of sexual nature, carried out with a particular cruelty against the victim (male, female) or against other individuals),
• 150.2.5. (Buggery actions of sexual nature, committed repeatedly),
• 151. (Coercion into actions of sexual nature),
• 274. (State betray),
• 329.3. (Resistance to a chief, as well as to other person, implementing duties of military service assigned to him, or his compulsion to infringement of these duties, connected with violence or with threat of its application, committed in wartime or fighting conditions),
• 331.3. (Causing injuries or tortures by chief of subordinate during performance or in connection with performance of duties on military services),
• 338.1. (Infringement of rules on implementing fighting watch (fighting service) on duly detection and reflection of sudden attack on the Azerbaijan Republic or maintenance of its safety if this act could harm interests of safety of the state),
• 338.2. (The same act which harmed interests of state safety or has entailed to other heavy consequences),
• 341.3 (Complicity in abuse of authority or official position committed in wartime or during combat),
• 349.2.1. (Deliberate destruction or damage of a weapon, supplies, military engineering or other military property, at absence of attributes of other crime, committed repeatedly),
• 349.2.2. (Deliberate destruction or damage of a weapon, supplies, military engineering or other military property, at absence of attributes of other crime, committed by group of persons),
• 349.2.3. (Deliberate destruction or damage of a weapon, supplies, military engineering or other military property, at absence of attributes of other crime, entailed to heavy consequences),
• 349.2.4. (Deliberate destruction or damage of a weapon, supplies, military engineering or other military property, at absence of attributes of other crime, committed in wartime or in fighting conditions) of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic.

Alizamin Quliyev, born in 1990, a native of Terter District, an Azerbaijani Armed Forces soldier, was charged with committing crimes under the Articles:
• 274. (State betray) of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic.

Turan Ibrahimli, born in 1998, a native of Ismayilli District, an Azerbaijani Armed Forces soldier, was charged with committing crimes under the Articles:
• 134. (Threat to murder or causing of serious harm to health),
• 150.2.1. (Buggery or other actions of sexual nature, committed by a group of persons, by a group with a premeditated conspiracy or by an organized group),
• 150.2.4. (Buggery actions of sexual nature, carried out with a particular cruelty against the victim (male, female) or against other individuals),
• 150.2.5. (Buggery actions of sexual nature, committed repeatedly),
• 151. (Coercion into actions of sexual nature),
• 274. (State betray),
• 331.2. (The insult by chief of subordinate, as well as by subordinate of chief during performance or in connection with performance of duties on military service),
• 331.3. (Causing injuries or tortures by chief of subordinate during performance or in connection with performance of duties on military services),
• 332.2.1. (Infringement of authorized rules on mutual relation between military men at absence of subordination relations, committed repeatedly),
• 332.2.2. (Infringement of authorized rules on mutual relation between military men at absence of subordination relations, committed two or more persons),
• 332.2.3. (Infringement of authorized rules on mutual relation between military men at absence of subordination relations, committed by group of persons, on preliminary arrangement by group of persons or by organized group),
• 332.2.4. (Infringement of authorized rules on mutual relation between military men at absence of subordination relations, committed with application of a weapon),
• 332.3. (Infringement of authorized rules on mutual relation between military men at absence of subordination relations, committed entailed to heavy consequences),
• 338.1. (Infringement of rules on implementing fighting watch (fighting service) on duly detection and reflection of sudden attack on the Azerbaijan Republic or maintenance of its safety if this act could harm interests of safety of the state),
• 338.2. (The same act which harmed interests of state safety or has entailed to other heavy consequences),
• 341.3 (Complicity in abuse of authority or official position committed in wartime or during combat),
• 349.2.1. (Deliberate destruction or damage of a weapon, supplies, military engineering or other military property, at absence of attributes of other crime, committed repeatedly),
• 349.2.2. (Deliberate destruction or damage of a weapon, supplies, military engineering or other military property, at absence of attributes of other crime, committed by group of persons),
• 349.2.3. (Deliberate destruction or damage of a weapon, supplies, military engineering or other military property, at absence of attributes of other crime, entailed to heavy consequences),
• 349.2.4. (Deliberate destruction or damage of a weapon, supplies, military engineering or other military property, at absence of attributes of other crime, committed in wartime or in fighting conditions) of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic.

Sultan Zeydullayev

On May 2017, Sultan Zeydullayev was detained. On 3 May 2017 by a court order against him it was chosen a preventive measure in the form of custody.
According to the investigation, on 26 April 2013, Sultan Zeydullayev, while serving as a company commander of a military unit on the territory of the Agdam District, being in the rank of lieutenant, established a secret connection with some members of the illegal armed groups and Special Services of the Republic of Armenia. He attracted other military men under his authority to this cooperation and also turned over the commanding officers to the Armenian military in order to commit sexual violent acts against them. In addition, he enabled the enemy to enter and leave the combat positions freely. S. Zeydullayev also set up conditions for the gathering and transferring of secret information for the benefit of the Armenian military by undertaking upon himself obligations of the criminal group active member.

In 2013-2017, within the framework of secret cooperation with the Armenian Armed Forces and special services, S. Zeydullayev conveyed to them secret information constituting military secrets. On 25 August 2016, S. Zeydullayev attacked and beat the soldier Qurban Ahmadov, who was under his command.

In September 2016, Zeydullayev lured a Lt. Atabey Rahimov to the Armenian territory where there were the Armenian soldiers in masks and black clothes. He turned the lieutenant over to those three Armenians, who, in their turn, committed violent acts of sexual nature (sodomy) against A. Rahimov in order to make him dependent on them and force him to cooperate with them. On 9 September 2016, S. Zeydullayev beat severely the soldiers Elchin Namazov and Elvin Talybov. In October-November 2016, he also beat the soldier Agasif Safarov.

On 4 August 2017, Sultan Zeydullayev was examined by a forensic medical expert, who did not find any injuries on his body. The examination also established that no typical lesions had been found on the military man’s anus. However, the expert pointed out that recurrent intercourse through the anus might not leave any distinctive lesions. Thus, whether or not there was intercourse is to be determined by the investigation.

On 3 November 2017, another forensic medical examination concerning S. Zeydullayev was carried out; as a result, it determined that there were no injuries, anomalies, or diseases on his genitals that would have prevented sexual intercourse.

On 23 May 2018, in connection with his torture, there was appointed a new forensic medical examination. That time the examination revealed the absence of the 6th and 7th teeth on the left lower jaw, as well as the defect of the upper portion of the 1st tooth on the upper jaw. Due to the lack of medical records, it was impossible to determine a cause of the damage, since a certain amount of time had already elapsed. The examination also failed to establish that the above injuries occurred as of May 2017. To establish the nature, origin, cause of occurrence, and timing of the stains found on the chest as on its upper and lower areas was not possible by the expert examination. The forensic examination experts stated that it was impractical to take blood samples for the presence of any chemical substance after the lapse of time (since May 2017).

On 6 October 2017, the conducted forensic psychiatric and forensic psychological examinations revealed that S. Zeydullayev hadn’t had signs of any mental illness.

Sultan Zeydullayev did not plead guilty to the charges during the court hearing. He testified that he had been a Company Commander since 26 April 2013, and was appointed a Senior Company Commander in the rank of Lieutenant since 26 April 2016. On 4 May 2017, he was interrogated by the military command authorities regarding his secret connection with the Armenian special services. He said that he had not collaborated with the Armenian special services, but he had not been believed and the command authorities ordered ten unknown intelligence officers covered with masks on their heads to interrogate him. Those men tortured him demanding him to confirm his secrete cooperation and reveal the names of those who had cooperated along with him. Sultan Zeydullayev, unable to withstand the torture, deliberately named random officers and confessed that he had given out secret information to the Armenian side, but in reality he had never cooperated with Armenians and never witnessed the cooperation of any of the military personnel of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces.

Rauf Orujev

On May 2017, Rauf Orujev was detained. On 8 May 2017 by a court order against him it was chosen a preventive measure in the form of custody.

According to the investigation, R. Orujev, having been engaged in criminal collusion with the military of the Armenian Armed Forces and Special Services, executed their instructions, engaging other military personnel of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces to cooperate. Orujev has repeatedly committed sexual assaults against soldiers and involved them in collaboration with the enemy on the territory of Agdam district starting from 25 April 2013.

In the period when S. Zeydullayev was the company commander, on 18 April 2017, R. Orujev announced over the mobile phone that he had noticed the distribution of notices related to violation of the confidential character of the company. S. Zeydullayev was instructed to disarm R. Orujev. S. Zeydullayev made R. Orujev dependent by involving him in criminal activity. As part of his collaboration with the enemy, R. Orujev also transferred to the Armenian military the classified information constituting military secrets. Rauf Orujev was promised to pay a certain amount of money for his cooperation.

During the confrontation between R. Orujev and S. Zeydullayev on 20 May and 16 August 2017, as well as at the trial, R. Orujev confirmed that S. Zeydullayev deceived and lured him to the other territory where he sexually assaulted him in April 2017, and then turned him in to the Armenian military.

In the course of the forensic medical examination performed on 7 June 2017, there were no detected any visible injuries on R. Orujev’s body, according to the written conclusion. But the expertise found lesions in R. Orujev’s anus, typical for sexual intercourse between men. The time of the injuries could not be determined. Findings of the forensic medical examination from 23 June 2017, once again confirmed the presence of characteristic lesions in R. Orujev’s anal orifice.

On 6 October 2017, the conducted forensic psychiatric and forensic psychological examinations revealed that R. Orujev hadn’t had signs of any mental illness.

In the course of the trial, Rauf Orujev pleaded guilty to the charges and testified that his earlier testimony concerning the torture was false. His testimony about torture and violent actions was influenced by the statements of S. Zeydullayev, A. Rahimov, E. Adilzade, F. Ahmadov, N. Aliyev and M. Ahmadli. No one used torture and other violent actions against him throughout the investigation.

Atabey Rahimov

On May 2017, Atabey Orujev was detained. On 15 May 2017 by a court order against him it was chosen a preventive measure in the form of custody.

According to the investigation, A. Rahimov caused great damage to the health of the victims, using violence against them, exploited their state of helplessness, committed violent acts of a sexual nature (sodomy), forced the victims to commit sodomy and other acts of a sexual nature. A. Rahimov, being a citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic, deliberately went over to the side of the Armenian Armed Forces, provided the Armenian military with the information constituting a military secret, thereby causing damage to the sovereignty, territorial integrity, state security and defence capacity of Azerbaijan.

On 26 August 2017, during a confrontation between the accused Mirpasha Mehdiyev and Atabey Rahimov, M. Mehdiyev confirmed that A. Rahimov had turned him in to the Armenian military.

On 20 May 2017, during a confrontation between the accused Sultan Zeydullayev and Atabey Rahimov, both defendants accused each other.

On 12 May 2017, following a forensic examination, it was determined that A. Rahimov’s anus had been injured in a manner typical for lesions inflicted by the male genital organ’s insertion. The same was confirmed by the forensic examination on 23 June 2017.

On 23 May 2018, the forensic medical examination found a single pigmented stain on the upper left side of the elbow, the nature, origin, time, and cause of occurrence were not established. Therefore, the expert could not provide his professional opinion on the matter.

On 23 September 2017, the conducted forensic psychiatric examinations revealed that A. Rahimov hadn’t had signs of any mental illness.
On 11 October 2017, the conducted forensic psychological examinations revealed that A. Rahimov hadn’t had signs of any mental illness.

An additional forensic medical examination, dated 20 October 2017, did not detect any disease of the immunodeficiency virus, and established that A. Rahimov’s genitals had no abnormalities or anomalies.

During the investigation, Atabey Rahimov did not plead guilty to the charges and testified that he had been appointed to the position of the Brigade Commander since 2 July 2016. Due to the fact that he was subjected to the physical assault, torture, he made a confession in the course of the investigation, but what he confessed was not true.

Emin Adilzade

On May 2017, Emin Adilzade was detained. On 3 May 2017 by a court order against him it was chosen a preventive measure in the form of custody.

According to the investigation, E. Adilzade, being a citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic, deliberately defected to the side of the Armenian Armed Forces at the expense of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, state security and defence of Azerbaijan. He conveyed the information constituting a military secret to the Armenian military, committed treason against the state by his hostile activities, as well as insulted, beat and tortured his subordinates, thereby exceeding the boundaries of his authority.

On 5 June and 26 October 2017, E. Adilzade confirmed his testimony during the preliminary investigation.

On 20 May 2017, both defendants, Faiq Ahmadov and Emin Adilzade, made incriminating statements about each other during a face-to-face confrontation.

The forensic medical examination in respect of E. Adilzade determined that there had not been any injuries on his body. It was conducted on 3 May 2017. As a result of the examination of E. Adilzade’s anus, there were detected signs typical for the male genital organ insertion.

The forensic medical examination in respect of E. Adilzade determined on 23 May 2018, that he had had pigment spots on his body, but their origin, nature, cause and time of occurrence had not been determined.

On 6 October 2017, the conducted forensic psychiatric and forensic psychological examinations revealed that E. Adilzade hadn’t had signs of any mental illness.

At the trial, Emin Adilzade partially pleaded guilty to the commission of offenses under the Articles 331.2, 331.3, 338.1, 338.2 and 341.3 of the Azerbaijan Republic Criminal Code, and testified that, while in the Terter district, he had given false testimony subjected to torture.

He also testified that he had no knowledge of the reasons why F. Ahmadov had testified against him. At the trial, Emin Adilzade said that he had not turned F. Ahmadov over to the Armenian soldiers, and they, in turn, had not committed any violent sexual acts against him.

Faiq Ahmadov

On May 2017, Faiq Ahmadov was detained. On 3 May 2017 by a court order against him it was chosen a preventive measure in the form of custody.

According to the investigation, F. Ahmadov was involved in a criminal conspiracy with the Armenian personnel to eliminate the Azerbaijani soldiers; he passed them the information classified as a military secret. F. Ahmadov also caused harm to the health of victims taking advantage of their helpless condition. As a citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic, he deliberately defied the sovereignty, territorial integrity, state security and defence security of Azerbaijan by crossing over to the Armenian Armed Forces.

The forensic medical examination in respect of F. Ahmadov determined that there have not been any injuries on his body. It was conducted on 3 May 2017. However, there were found injuries on F. Ahmadov’s anus, which are characteristic of the male reproductive organ penetration.

On 23 May 2018, a forensic medical examination found some pigment spots and scars on his right thigh, but their origin, cause, and time of occurrence could not be determined over time.

On 6 October 2017, the conducted forensic psychiatric and forensic psychological examinations revealed that F. Ahmadov hadn’t had signs of any mental illness.

In the course of the trial, Faiq Ahmadov did not plead guilty to the charges and indicated that he had been appointed a Brigade Commander at the rank of Lieutenant in the Agdam District since 23 April 2013. On 1 May 2017, the High Command questioned F. Ahmadov with regard to his cooperation with the Armenian Special Services, but he had replied by saying that no such thing had taken place. At that time, he was not believed. Then, some unidentified intelligence officers covered with black masks tortured him forcing to admit their cooperation and revealed their names of the soldiers. Not being able to stand the torture, he was forced to deliver the evidence they required. However, Faiq Ahmadov testified that he had never cooperated with the Armenian Special Services and had not witnessed the cooperation of other Azerbaijani military personnel.

Nasif Aliyev

On May 2017, Nasif Aliyev was detained. On 8 May 2017 by a court order against him it was chosen a preventive measure in the form of custody.

According to the investigation, in order to destroy the Azerbaijani military, Nasif Aliyev colluded with the Armenian military and passed them information constituting a military secret. Being a citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic, he intentionally sided with the Armenian armed forces to the prejudice of sovereignty, territorial integrity, state security and defence capacity of Azerbaijan. N. Aliyev also caused harm to the health of the victims, taking advantage of their helpless state by committing sodomy and other violent acts of a sexual nature against them, as well as by insulting, beating and torturing his subordinates.

On 3 May 2017, a forensic medical examination in respect of N. Aliyev found no injuries on his body. In mean time, the examination revealed the injuries on N. Aliyev’s anus typical for the penetration of a male genital organ. On 23 May 2018, a forensic medical examination also proved that fact and also found the presence of pigment spots on his chest, however, their origin, cause and time of occurrence had not been established.

On 21 September 2017, the conducted forensic psychiatric examinations revealed that N. Aliyev hadn’t had signs of any mental illness.

On 13 October 2017, the conducted forensic psychological examinations revealed that N. Aliyev hadn’t had signs of any mental illness.

At the trial, Nasif Aliyev did not plead guilty to the charges and said that he had become acquainted with Faiq Ahmadov, Majid Qasimov, Elkhan Agazade, Mehman Huseynov, Mushfiq Ahmadli, Turan Ibrahimli and others through his service. He testified that he had not witnessed any of the servicemen cooperating with the Armenian Special Services.

Majid Qasimov

On May 2017, Majid Qasimov was detained. On 8 May 2017 by a court order against him it was chosen a preventive measure in the form of custody.

According to the investigation, Majid Qasimov colluded with the Armenian military in order to eliminate the Azerbaijani soldiers and passed them information constituting a military secret. He, as a citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic, deliberately took the side of the Armenian armed forces to the prejudice of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, state security and defence capacity of Azerbaijan. M. Qasimov also caused harm to the victims’ health taking advantage of their helpless state, committing sodomy and other violent acts of a sexual nature against them.

A forensic medical examination in respect of M. Qasimov, on 3 May 2017, found that there were injuries on his anal orifice typical for a male genital organ penetration. On 23 May 2017, the forensic examination panel confirmed that fact.

In the course of the court hearing, Majid Qasimov did not plead guilty to the charges. However, later at the trial. he admitted his guilt, repented of what he had done and confirmed the testimony provided at the preliminary investigation.

Mushfiq Ahmadli

On May 2017, Atabey Orujev was detained. On 18 May 2017 by a court order against him it was chosen a preventive measure in the form of custody.

According to the investigation, Mushfiq Ahmadli, in order to eliminate the Azerbaijani soldiers, colluded with the Armenian military, handed over to them the information constituting a military secret. Being a citizen of the Azerbaijani Republic, he deliberately passed to the side of the Armenian Armed Forces to the prejudice of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, state security and defence capacity of Azerbaijan. M. Qasimov also caused injuries to the victims taking advantage of their helpless state he committed sodomy and other violent acts of a sexual nature against them.

On 3 May 2017, a forensic medical examination in respect of M. Ahmadli found some injuries on his anus indicating the penetration of the male genitals, although the timing of the injuries had not been established. According to M. Ahmadli, the Armenian soldiers inflicted those injuries on him in April 2017. On 23 May 2017, a forensic medical examination confirmed that fact.

At the hearing, Mushfiq Ahmadli did not plead guilty to the charges, however later at the trial, he fully admitted his guilt, repented of what he had done and confirmed the testimony he had provided at the preliminary investigation.

Alizamin Quliyev

On May 2017, Atabey Orujev was detained. On 8 May 2017 by a court order against him it was chosen a preventive measure in the form of custody.

According to the investigation, Alizamin Guliyev, in order to eliminate the Azerbaijani soldiers, was in a criminal arrangement with the Armenian soldiers, passed them the information constituting a military secret. He, as a citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic, deliberately took the side of the Armenian Armed Forces to the prejudice of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, state security and national defence capacity of Azerbaijan.

On 3 May 3, 2017, a forensic medical examination found no injuries on Quliev’s body. The experts though detected some injuries on his anus that were typical for the penetration of male genitals, however, the time occurrence of those injuries had not been determined.

On 18 August 2017, and 23 May 2018, both the commission forensic examination and the additional forensic examination did not find any injuries on A. Quliyev’s body, or on his anal orifice.

On 20 September 2017, the conducted forensic psychiatric examinations revealed that A. Quliyev hadn’t had signs of any mental illness.

On 20 October 2017, the conducted forensic psychological examinations revealed that A. Quliyev hadn’t had signs of any mental illness.

Despite the fact that at the beginning of the court hearing Alizamin Quliyev did not plead guilty to the charge under the Article 274 of the Azerbaijan Republic Criminal Code, later in the course of the trial he pleaded guilty, repented of what he had done and confirmed the evidence he had provided at the preliminary investigation.

Turan Ibrahimli

On May 2017, Turan Ibrahimli was detained. On 7 May 2017 by a court order against him it was chosen a preventive measure in the form of custody to 4 months.

According to the investigation, in order to destroy the Azerbaijani military positions, Turan Ibrahimli colluded with the Armenian servicemen and transferred to them the information constituting a military secret. Being a citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic, he deliberately took the side of the Armenian Armed Forces to the prejudice of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, state security and defence capacity of Azerbaijan. T. Ibrahimli also caused harm to the victims’ health by taking advantage of their helpless stat he committed sodomy and other violent acts of a sexual nature against them, and also insulted, beat and tortured his subordinates.

On 3 May 2017, a forensic medical examination found no injuries on T. Ibrahimli’s body. Though the forensic examination determined that there had been injuries on his anus typical for male genital penetration but the time of the inflicted injuries had not been determined.

The forensic examination, conducted on 23 May 2018, did not find any bodily injury either; but they found some pigmentation spot on his leg, the origin, time and cause of which was unknown. In the course of this examination, it was also established that the occurred injuries on the anus hadn’t been caused with a glass bottle, but by the

On 10 October 2017, the conducted forensic psychiatric and forensic psychological examinations revealed that T.Ibrahimli hadn’t had signs of any mental illness.

In the course of the trial, Turan Ibrahimli did not plead guilty to the charges, but later he did, repented of what he had done and confirmed the testimony he had given at the preliminary investigation.

Mirpasha Mehdiyev

On May 2017, Turan Ibrahimli was detained. On 16 May 2017 by a court order against him it was chosen a preventive measure in the form of custody to 4 months.
According to the investigation, Mirpasha Mehdiyev colluded with the Armenian servicemen in order to eliminate the Azerbaijani military and passed them the information constituting a military secret. Being a citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic, he deliberately took the side of the Armenian Armed Forces to the prejudice of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, state security and defence capacity of Azerbaijan. M. Mehdiyev also caused harm to the health of the victims taking advantage of their helpless state, he committed sodomy and other violent acts of a sexual nature against them, also he insulted, beat and tortured his subordinates.

On 12 May 2017, a forensic medical examination concluded that there had been no injuries on M. Mehdiyev’s body. The forensic examination though, found that there had been injuries on his anus typical for penetration of the male genitals. On 23 May 2018, a forensic medical examination conducted by the commission found no bodily injuries either.

On 2 October 2017, the conducted forensic psychiatric examinations revealed that M. Mehdiyev hadn’t had signs of any mental illness.

On 16 October 2017, a forensic psychological examination established certain psychological signs characteristic for M. Mehdiyev: adaptability, plasticity, sociability, disrespect for himself.

At the trial, M. Mehdiyev did not plead guilty to the charges, but later he fully admitted his guilt, repented of what he had done and confirmed the testimony he had provided at the preliminary investigation.

The court, having considered the criminal case in private, issued a verdict:

• Sultan Zeydullayev was found guilty of the charges and sentenced to a 20-year imprisonment. According to the verdict, S. Zeydullayev must spend the first 5 years in the Gobustan closed prison, and the rest of his imprisonment in a high-security institution;
• Rauf Orujev was found guilty of the charges and sentenced to a 7-year prison term. According to the verdict, he must serve his sentence in a high-security institution.
• Atabey Rahimov was found guilty of the charges and sentenced to a 20-year imprisonment. According to the verdict, A. Rahimov must spend the first 5 years in the Gobustan closed prison, and the rest of his imprisonment in a high-security institution;
• Emin Adilzade was found guilty of the charges and sentenced to a 16-year prison term. According to the verdict, he must serve his sentence in a high-security institution.
• Faiq Ahmadov was found guilty of the charges and sentenced to a 20-year imprisonment. According to the verdict, A. Rahimov must spend the first 5 years in the Gobustan closed prison, and the rest of his imprisonment in a high-security institution;
• Nasif Aliyev was found guilty of the charges and sentenced to a 20-year imprisonment. According to the verdict, A. Rahimov must spend the first 5 years in the Gobustan closed prison, and the rest of his imprisonment in a high-security institution;
• Majid Qasimov was found guilty of the charges and sentenced to a 10-year prison term. According to the verdict, he must serve his sentence in a high-security institution.
• Mushfiq Ahmadli was found guilty of the charges and sentenced to a 16-year prison term. According to the verdict, he must serve his sentence in a high-security institution.
• Alizamin Quliyev was found guilty of the charges and sentenced to a 7-year prison term. According to the verdict, he must serve his sentence in a high-security institution.
• Turan Ibrahimli was found guilty of the charges and sentenced to a 9-year prison term. According to the verdict, he must serve his sentence in a high-security institution.
• Mirpasha Mehdiyev was found guilty of the charges and sentenced to a 8-year prison term. According to the verdict, he must serve his sentence in a high-security institution.

Commentary by expert lawyer:

A court decision is illegal and unjustified. There are tasks of criminal proceedings listed in the Article 9 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Azerbaijan Republic:
• to establish rules as a basis for criminal prosecution;
• to ensure a defence against restrictions on human and civil rights and liberties;
• to determine the legality and grounds of every criminal prosecution.

The bodies conducting criminal proceedings are obliged to ensure the observance of constitutionally enshrined human and civil rights and freedoms for all persons participating in criminal proceedings (Article 12.1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Azerbaijan Republic).
The Article 13.1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Azerbaijan Republic binds the state bodies to observe the principle of respect for a person’s honour and dignity. It shall be prohibited to take decisions or allow acts during the criminal prosecution which debase the honour and dignity of the person or may threaten the life and health of the participants in the proceedings.
According to the Article 13.2. of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Azerbaijan Republic, during a criminal prosecution nobody shall:

• be subjected to treatment or punishment that debases human dignity;
• be held in conditions that debase human dignity;
• be forced to participate in carrying out procedures that debase human dignity.

The defendants repeatedly claimed the use of torture and inhuman treatment by the investigating body. The court was skeptical about the defendants’ testimony without exception in all cases and considered the testimonies provided at trial to be of a defensive nature. The court paid no attention to these testimonies and referred only to the results of the examination conducted a year later after the preliminary investigation. By that time the signs of beatings had already disappeared. The defendants were forced through torture to testify against themselves.
According to the Article 66 of the Constitution of Azerbaijan Republic, nobody may be forced to testify against him/herself, wife (husband), children, parents, brother, sister. Complete list of relations against whom testifying is not obligatory is specified by law.

The prohibition of torture and inhuman treatment is regulated by the International Norms. According to the Article 3 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, no one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

The Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states:

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In particular, no one shall be subjected without his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation.

According to the Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
As it can be seen from the dispositions of the above articles, there are no exceptions in any of them. According to the precedents of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), it is prohibited to use torture, ill-treatment and cruelty even in the fight against terrorism, the Mafia, and in times of war.
“The Article 3 (…) is to protect one of the basic values of a democratic society. Even in the most difficult circumstances, such as the fight against terrorism and organized crime, the Convention categorically prohibits torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Unlike most Articles of the Convention and Protocols Nos. 1 and 4, the Article 3 does not provide any exception and under the Article 15 para. 2 there can be no derogation from the Article 3 even in a case of emergency threatening the existence of the nation” (judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in Aksoy v. Turkey of 18 December 1996 – https://www.dipublico.org/1563/case-of-aksoy-v-turkey-application-no-2198793-european-court-of-human-rights/).

The United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (known as the Mandela Rules, named after South African President Nelson Mandela) were adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 17 December 2015. Under Rule 1, all prisoners are to be treated with respect because of their inherent dignity and value as human beings. No prisoner shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, all prisoners shall be protected from it, and no circumstances whatsoever may be invoked as a justification. The safety and security of prisoners, staff, service providers and visitors shall be ensured at all times.

The decision of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Selcuk and Asker v. Turkey on 24 April 1998, states: “The Court recalls that for ill-treatment to constitute a violation of Article 3, it must attain a minimum level of severity. The assessment of this minimum level is inherently relative; it depends on all the circumstances of the case, in particular its duration, its impact on the physical or mental condition and, in some cases, the sex, age and state of health of the victim affected by such treatment.” –

The UN Human Rights Committee decision in the case of Prashantoj Kumar Pandeyem v. Nepal on 30 October 2018 stated: “The Committee reiterates that persons deprived of their liberty may not be subjected to any hardship or suffering other than that which results from the deprivation of liberty and that they must be treated with humanity and respect for their dignity.” –

The commented sentence does not provide any statutory basis. Furthermore, the length of the sentenced terms of the defendants in the verdict is not justified. The evidentiary basis is insufficient for a conviction. All the witnesses and victims were members of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces.

The experts who provided forensic expertise are employees of the Forensic Center. The Center is subordinate to the Ministry of Justice of the Azerbaijan Republic. It is well known that the judicial system in Azerbaijan is not separated from the Executive and depends on it.

Moreover, according to the law, the forensic results are not sufficient evidence for the court. They must be supported by other incontrovertible evidences and considered in conjunction as a whole. The verdict lacked motivation. All doubts that arose in the course of the trial were not treated in favor of the defendants by the court. The court played the role of the prosecutor.

The commented verdict was rendered without complying with the legal Norms of National and International Laws, and therefore is unlawful and unreasonable.

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