Category: Human rights

Torture and atrocities by law enforcement bodies of Azerbaijan authorised by president Ilham Aliyev

Institute for Peace and Democracy


Appeal of the Institute for Peace and Democracy

In January 2001 Azerbaijan became a member of the Council of Europe (CoE). When joining this authoritative international organization, Azerbaijan assumed a number of obligations, including in the field of human rights. Among those is the obligation to prosecute all law enforcement officials, who violated human rights (in particular the right to freedom from torture) while performing their duties. However, from the first day of coming to power in 2003, Ilham Aliyev began to use law enforcement agencies to suppress dissent in the country.

The police started to brutally disperse all peaceful protests in Azerbaijan by his order. In his speech on the occasion of the Police Day on 2 July 2007, the President of Azerbaijan stated that “despite the pressure on him by international organizations to punish the police officers who used force, none of them will be punished.” See: pdf.

Having declared that none of the police officers would be punished for violating law and thereby authorizing violence at the beginning of his term, President Ilham Aliyev in 2013, speaking at the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic, again stated publicly: “I said then and I want to say today – none of the law enforcement officers will be punished.” See the speech of Ilham Aliyev on 2 July 2013: OC2Q8

As a result, torture and cruelty by the law enforcement officers in Azerbaijan during the reign of Ilham Aliyev became the norm; on average, up to 10-12 Azerbaijani citizens die from torture every year.

All this is constantly reflected in the reports of international human rights organizations, including the UN Committee against Torture and OMST.

See: Azerbaijan: UN Committee against Torture urged to intervene to stop torture and save lives of anti-torture activists. – https: // urged-to-intervene-to-stop-torture-2015 in 1 .html; HRW Submission to the UN Committee Against Torture on Azerbaijan. torture-azerbaijan; Azerbaijan: 11 deaths in custody and other serious human rights violations  in the “Terter Case”. other-serious-human-rights-violations-in-the-terter-case, etc.

Although 20 years have passed since Azerbaijan joined the Council of Europe and assumed this obligation, as evidenced by the facts, torture and other illegal methods of investigation remain in the core of the practice of the law enforcement bodies of the Republic. One of the reasons for the widespread use of torture is absolute impunity, and even encouragement of law enforcement officers who use torture and other illegal methods of investigation. NOBODY (!) IN THE LAW ENFORCEMENT BODIES HAS BEEN SUBJECTED TO CRIMINAL, JUDICIAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR TORTURE and other violations of human rights.

Moreover, most of the employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Prosecutor’s Office who used torture and other illegal methods of investigation were promoted (in position and rank). A striking example is Vilayat Eyvazov, who, with the rank of colonel was heading the Department for Combating Organized Crime of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in 2003 and was personally responsible for torturing dozens of detainees after the presidential elections of October 2003. As a gratitude for this, in 2004, he was promoted to Major General and became the First Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, and in 2019 he became the Minister of Internal Affairs of the country! The same career was made by other high-ranking officials of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, personally guilty of torturing Azerbaijani citizens.

This policy of authorization of police arbitrariness and the use of torture against Azerbaijani citizens continues to this day by President Ilham Aliyev. On 1 December 2021, representatives of opposition parties and civil society- decided to hold a peaceful rally on Fountain Square in central Baku demanding the release of Saleh Rustamov, an activist of the Popular Front opposition party7 of Azerbaijan, who was arrested in May 2018 and convicted to 7-year imprisonment on falsified charges in February 2019.

As a protest against the illegal arrest and sentence, on 6 November 2021, he began a hunger strike demanding to release him and currently is in a critical situation according to the Ombudsman. But as soon as the participants of the action in defense of S. Rustamov’s demands began to gather, the police began to severely beat and arrest them. A total of 39 people were arrested. All of them were beaten; the police broke the right arm of the activist Pasha Dadashzade. But opposition activist Tofiq Yaqublu suffered the most severe beatings. He was brutally beaten for several hours in the 39th police station in Baku by the officers of the Main Directorate for Combating Organized Crime of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. They put a plastic bag over his head and handcuffed him, demanding that to give up political activities. Having failed to achieve their goal, the police simply threw out T. Yaqublu in a desert area 70 km from the city, who after being brutally tortured needed medical assistance. For the further information, see – news/en/ ioo68.htm

Photos of Tofiq Yaqublu at the time of his arrest and after torture at the 39th police station in Baku.

Photo 1. Detention of Tofiq Yaqubiu on December 1, 2021 at 15:00 on the Fountain Square in Baku

Photo 2. Tofiq Yaqubiu in the evening of December’ 1, 2021 at the Neurosurgical

Hospital in Baku

All this violence and iniquity by the police officers taking place in Azerbaijan is the result of an authorization back in 2003, which was repeatedly confirmed by the President Ilham Aliyev.


On 15 December 2021, Ilham Aliyev will travel to Brussels for the EU summit within the framework of the Eastern Partnership program and will talk again about respect for human rights, democracy and freedom of speech and assembly. Unfortunately, the EU does not pay attention to the brutal crimes of the Azerbaijani dictator and continues to cooperate with him. The signing of an Agreement with Azerbaijan is inadmissible.

2 December 2021

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

Committee for Protection of Rights of Victims of Legal Arbitrariness Created in erter

February 21, 2021

Committee for Protection of Rights of Victims of Legal Arbitrariness Created in Terter 

In Azerbaijan, in May-June 2017, the General Prosecutor’s Office, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the State Security Service carried out large-scale repressions that targeted soldiers and officers of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces. Just on May 7, 2017, 47 people were arrested, and by May 17, the number of those arrested reached 400 citizens, and then it increased to 1,000. The Azerbaijani citizens accused in state treason (Article 274 of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic) were subjected to terrible torture, which resulted in the death of 11 people as early as May 2017. Full information and names of those killed is here:

None of the detainees has been assigned a lawyer, there have been no trials, which decided on a measure of restraint for the officially filed charges. The legal analysis of Emil Aliyev’s trial (the Ganja Military Court, presided by the Judge Vugar Mammadov), as well as Natig Quluzade, Nijat Rzayev, Zaur Abdullayev, Vali Khalilov, Emin Ayibov, Yalchin Tarverdizade and Orkhan Babayev (the Terter Military Court, presided by the Judge Ilqar Quliyev) confirmed the gross violation of the Azerbaijan Republic legislation and the international law in imposing an illegal and unfounded conviction on the above-mentioned citizens. The analyses of the trials are here:

As early as May 2017, the Institute for Peace and Democracy collected the information concerning those killed due to torture, and the Satellite television channel Turan TV  conducted an interview with Colonel Saleh Qafarov’s mother and widow who was tortured to death.

In Baku, human rights defender Oktay Gyulalyev began investigating the crimes of the military prosecutor’s office and other security agencies in the Terter case, but on October 29, 2019, he was hit by a car. The doctors did not give him proper help even in a coma. As a result, it has been in a vegetative state for over a year.

At present, the list of the Union “Freedom for Political Prisoners of Azerbaijan” contains the names of the 25 convicts in the Tartar case. See:

However, the number of those sentenced is undoubtedly much higher, the Institute for Peace and Democracy notes.

The Committee for Protection of Rights of Victims of Legal Arbitrariness Created in Terter, which we created, aims to: 

-The release of ALL those convicted in this fabricated case.

-Rehabilitation and awarding the title of Shekhid (Martyr) to ALL those tortured to death.

 – Criminal prosecution of ALL those responsible for the most brutal repressions against AR soldiers, starting with the AR military Prosecutor, Khanlar Valiyev:

The members of the Committee are:

  1. The Chairman – Leyla Yunus, Director of the Institute for Peace and Democracy
  2. The Co-Chairman – Nasir Aliyev, the father of the innocent convicted Emil Aliyev.
  3. Valida Akhmadova, the mother of Elchin Guliyev who was tortured and beaten to death.
  4. Kamal Qasimov, the father of the innocent convicted Majid Qasimov.
  5. Nariman Babayev, the father of the innocent convicted  Orkhan Babayev.
  6. Mehman Aliyev, the father of the innocent convicted Nasif Aliyev.

Our Committee intends to hold regular virtual conferences and cooperates with the international human rights organizations (OMCT, AI, HRW), PACE rapporteurs regarding Azerbaijan, OSCE, EU, the US State Department and others.


The verdict of Tofig Yaqublu is a clear illustration of lawlessness in Azerbaijan

The verdict of Tofig Yaqublu is a clear illustration of lawlessness in Azerbaijan

Tofig Yaqublu

Statement of Institute for Peace and Democracy

On September 3, 2020, the judge of Baku City Nizami District Court Nariman Mehdiyev pronounced sentence the prominent leader of the opposition Tofig Yaqublu guilty in hooliganism (Article 221.3 of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan Republic) and sentenced him to 4 years and 3 months in high security colony.

Currently, there are 191 political prisoners behind bars in Azerbaijan. See:

A new wave of brutal repressions began in spring of 2020, after March 19th speech of President Ilham Aliyev, when he called for reprisals against opposition as “enemies of nation” and “the fifth column”.

Already, on March 23, 2020, the same judge of Baku City Nizami District court, Nariman Mehdiyev imprisoned T. Yaqublu, by violating all norms of the national legislation of Azerbaijan Republic and international law.


For more details about judge, see:

The judicial proceeding, whereat rules of law and arguments of the defense were ignored, is a clear illustration of the complete legal lawlessness in Azerbaijan Republic.

European Court of Human Rights will recognizes the verdict of Tofig Yaqublu unlawful, violating the Articles of the European Convention. But will not young, with poor health condition person survive these years and these humiliations?

On September 3rd, Tofig Yaqublu went on hunger-strike.

Tofig Yaqublu is the first victim of the 2020 repression. During pandemic, authorities began their next repressive drive with the most authoritative leader of the opposition. In total, in the period of March – August 2020, criminal cases were falsified against 43 opposition activists, see:


We summon all Azeri nation and the international community to begin the struggle for the release of one of the best sons of Azerbaijan, Tofig Yaqublu.


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

September 3, 2020

Azerbaijan continuing Soviet-era psychiatric abuse to silence critics

Leyla Yunus

Alexander Podrabinek

Agil Humbatov

Azerbaijan continuing Soviet-era psychiatric abuse to silence critics

The practice of psychiatric abuse against dissidents widely exercised in the Soviet Union continues as a tool of political repression under Azerbaijan’s post-Soviet dictatorial regime. The country’s president, Ilham Aliyev, is the son of KGB general and Politburo member Heydar Aliyev, who was Azerbaijan’s president from 1993 until his death in 2003. Ilham Aliyev not only inherited the presidency from his father, but also continued using the methods of dealing with political opponents his father had developed during his time as chairman of Soviet Azerbaijan’s KGB.

Commenting on the Covid-19 pandemic on 19 March this year, Aliyev described the republic’s democratic opposition as a “fifth column” and declared war on it. Just three days later, the first wave of opposition arrests commenced. But it was not only prisons that regime critics were sent to.

On 30 March, 37-year-old Agil Humbatov, a member of the Azerbaijan Popular Front Party, was arrested and taken to a police station. The reason for his detention was an interview he had given to the Azerbaijan branch of Radio Liberty, in which he criticised the government and the healthcare system in the republic. As Humbatov later said, an ambulance was called to the police station, with him and the police then being driven to a republic psychiatric hospital in the village of Mashtaga. Head doctor Agahasan Rasulov petitioned the Sabunchu District Court in Baku to have Agil Humbatov forcibly placed in the hospital. At the court case, a doctor called Fakhraddin Ibrahimov represented the hospital.

However, the system of repression established by the dictator failed. On 1 April, the judge Samir Talybov, having examined the case material and heard testimonies from those at the trial, rejected the hospital’s petition. In his verdict, the judge stated that the psychiatrists did not provide conclusive evidence that Gumbatov was a danger either to others or himself. Further, they did not supply convincing or reliable information that Gumbatov would be unable to provide an account of his actions due to some supposed mental disorder.

On the very same day, judge Samir Talybov went to the psychiatric hospital and presented the court decision to head doctor Agahasan Rasulov. The judge made sure that Humbatov’s release was legalised and then personally had Humbatov sent home by taxi.

The following day, Rasulov appealed against the court’s decision at the Baku Court of Appeal, with the chairman of the court of appeal’s board of civil cases Mamed Mamedov ruling immediately thereafter that Humbatov be compulsorily confined to the hospital, which was then promptly carried out.

Humbatov is currently being held at the hospital, and as he told his wife by telephone is being given a medicine which is unknown to him. This then leaves him feeling “lethargic”. The length of time Humbatov is to be held in the psychiatric hospital has as yet not been stipulated, with there being nothing to stop him remaining there for the rest of his life.

The judge Samir Talybov, who had released Humbatov from the psychiatric hospital, received a telephone call from the president’s office demanding that he write a letter of resignation, which he promptly did. Within one day, the Azerbaijani judicial council had already dismissed Talybov from his position as judge.

Chief physician Agahasan Rasulov used to work as the chief psychiatrist for the ministry of national security, the successor to the Soviet KGB, and was repeatedly involved in scandals. The Azerbaijani press have reported that Rasulov uses hospital patients “like slaves”. He assigns patients to carry out building and agricultural work he then receives payment for. He also established a team of former athletes at the hospital who at his command would beat patients who misbehaved, including his personal slaves. At the hospital that he runs, antipsychotics are being used, along with electroshock therapy.

Agil Humbatov is a driver by trade who had been employed by the municipal authorities. Fired for opposition activities, he was unemployed prior to his arrest. He has a wife and three children: a boy aged six, a girl aged four and another boy aged two. Humbatov is an activist for the opposition Azerbaijan Popular Front Party (APFP). In March last year he was detained by the police for taking part in a party meeting and imprisoned for 30 days.

Azerbaijan is reviving the use of “punitive psychiatry” against the opposition. If Aqil Humbatov is not released soon, other oppositionists will be imprisoned in psychiatric hospitals too.

This article was published in France on June 14, 2020 in French.



Doctors in Azerbaijan are no less dangerous than the policemen who inflict severe injuries torturing detainees

Doctors in Azerbaijan are no less dangerous than the policemen who inflict severe injuries torturing detainees

The conclusion of the Institute for Peace and Democracy

On October 29, 2019, at 17:20, a ” Hyundai Accent ” car hit a famous human rights defender Oktay Gulaliyev on a pedestrian zebra at the intersection of ” May 28″ and ” Pushkin ” streets in the center of Baku. It happened immediately after the press conference where Oktay Gulaliyev announced the plan of work of the Committee against Repression and Torture. The “Hyundai Accent”  taxi driver, Abdullayev, helped the victim and drove him to the Baku City Clinical Centre No. 1.

So, what did the doctors do? How did they help the victim? Actually, there was no any help provided, and on October 29,  at 21.40 Oktay was transferred to the City Hospital, but even there he had not been operated until noon of October 30. The surgery was performed from 13.00 to 15.00 on the 30th of October. That delay in medical treatment did in fact killed the remarkable human rights defender.

The struck of a well known human rights defender caused a stormy reaction in society and the authorities had to react.

On October 30, 2019, the Ministry of Health of Azerbaijan released information on the human rights defender’s health status  hit by a taxi driver:

“On October 30, after the operation, Oktay Gulaliyev’s family members requested to transfer the patient to the Republican Neurosurgery Hospital. Since Gulaliyev was operated by the doctors of the Republican Neurosurgery Hospital, his relatives wanted him to be under the supervision of those doctors. Therefore, on October 31, Oktay Gulaliyev was transferred from the City Hospital to the Republican Neurosurgery Hospital. The patient’s condition was evaluated as stable and serious.”

Gulaliyev’s wife, Firuza Gulaliyeva, said that her husband had been in a second-degree coma prior to the surgery and he has been in serious condition since then.

At the same time, the Ministry of Internal Affairs made a completely different statement regarding Oktay Gulaliyev’s condition.

“The patient’s condition while under medical supervision is considered to be moderate. The Nasimi police officers inspected the scene of accident and the vehicle. The driver Abdullaev was interrogated and tested for the presence of alcohol and drug in his blood. In fact,a criminal case under the Article 263.1 (violation of vehicle operation regulations, which resulted in negligent infliction of less serious injuries to victim’s health) of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic was initiated in the Nasimi district Police department”, stated in the report of Interior Ministry of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

As we can see, the reports of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Internal Affairs  concerning Gulaliyev’s state of health contradict each other. If the Ministry of Health states that the condition is “stable and serious”, whereas the Ministry of Internal Affairs reports that it “caused less serious injuries”.

However, two days later, it became known that the human rights defender was about to die.

On the 5th of November, it was announced that all expenses related to Guliyev’s treatment were covered by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation on the instructions of Mehriban Aliyeva, the First Vice President of Azerbaijan. The Vice President of Azerbaijan allocated finances, invited doctors from Turkey, and on November 6, Oktay Gulaliyev was taken to Istanbul on a special flight where, in “Avrasiya” hospital, he was treated by Turkish doctors with full financing of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation. Very thoughtful decision. The critical condition of the courageous human rights defender is well known to the authorities: even if he survives, he will not be able to function properly. The goal has been achieved; one more bright critic of the regime has been practically eliminated.

The actions of the Ministry of Internal Affairs are irrefutable evidence of deliberate collision. Law enforcement officials have not only provided absolutely inaccurate information about Oktay Gulaliyev’s health condition, but also refused to disclose information about the “Hyundai Accent” vehicle’s movement down the “28th of May” street to the intersection with “Pushkin” street prior  the hitting a pedestrian.  Actual statements of the Ministry of Internal Affairs protect the driver.

It is not difficult to predict what the “investigation” of the Ministry of Internal Affairs will be like: the driver hit the human rights defender will be given a short term and released on parole by agreement. But the killers, medical doctors, will not be brought to justice at all. They have never been prosecuted for failing to provide medical assistance to the regime’s critics: either after the death of journalist Rasim Aliyev (who was brutally beaten in the street) on August 9, 2015 at the Baku City Clinical Centre No. 1, who was not provided with timely assistance, or after the death of writer and publicist Rafiq Taqi (he was stabbed several times in the street) on November 22, 2011, in the same clinical centre under similar circumstances.

Murders by doctors aren’t often used by the authorities. But  the instructions not to help or treat the opponents of the regime is well know to doctors in both public and private medical institutions. We learned of this explicit and secret instruction in December 2015. Indeed, in December 2015, one of the doctors clearly suggested to Arif Yunus that he should not waste his time and strength on going to all the clinics and hospitals in Baku, and that he would not be treated or welcomed anywhere. Arif sought help at the Central Hospital of Oil Workers, at the Tusi Clinic, at the Hospital No. 5, at the Cardiology Center… The authorities were confident that Arif would not survive when they let us out of the country. But German medicine was on the ball…

After assassination of a brilliant critic, Elmar Huseynov, on March 1, 2005, the authorities, who were unable to cover up this high-profile crime, adopted a new strategy and tactic to eliminate their critics, so they chose the indispensable tools such as doctors-killers.


Leyla Yunus

The Director of the Institute for Peace and Democracy

P.S. In 2019 Oktay Gulaliyev received threats from law enforcement officers several times.



“Prisoners of conscience” in Azerbaijan are being tortured and killed

Mehman Galandarov murdered on 28th of April 2017

Statement of Institute for Peace and Democracy

“Prisoners of Conscience” in Azerbaijan are being tortured and killed.

According to Mass Media publications, dated on April 28, 2017, “prisoner of conscience” in Azerbaijan  Mr. Mehman Galandarov committed suicide – by using his bed sheet to hang himself – in his cell, in Baku Investigative Prison No. 1, Kurdakhany.

By profession, former teacher of the philosophy, sociology and political science, Mr. Mehman Galandarov was arrested on February 7, 2017.  According to Institute for Peace and Democracy information, Mr. Galandarov was arrested after he posted on his personal Facebook account his words of support to “prisoner of conscience” Mr. Qiyas Bayramov.

Arrests related to open criticism of the Azerbaijani authority via Social Networks, such as Facebook, are gradually turning into systematic character. The most popular trumped up accusation under which dissidents and bloggers are detained is “the possession and trading of narcotics”. The same trumped up accusation was used against Mr. Mehman Galandarov to take him under custody. The same day, Nasimi District Court decided to imprison Mr. Galandarov for the period of 3 months, during the investigation period.

“Mr. Galandarov’s case is on our list of political prisoners” says Leyla Yunus, dissident, director of  Institute for Peace and Democracy. “Mr. Galandarov’s case comes under number 8 in the  group #1 “Journalists and bloggers.”

Institute for Peace and Democracy is extremely concerned and shocked with the news of Mr. Galandarov’s death. Ruling authoritarian regime in Azerbaijan regularly prosecutes, arrests, threatens and kills dissidents; strugglers for the freedom and democracy. 

“As a person who was imprisoned in one of the cells of Baku Investigative Prison No. 1, Kurdakhany for more than 16 months” Leyla Yunus  adds “it is not easy to hang yourself in the cell without any additional help”.

Institute for Peace and Democracy calls International human rights organizations, European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights, Commissioner for Human Rights at Council of Europe, Members States at Council of Europe; United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to demand from Azerbaijan authorities detailed and transparent investigation on Mr. Galandarov’s death.

Collaboration of the European Union with the authoritarian Azerbaijan regime – that suppresses the rights and freedom of its own citizens, and subjects dissidents to tortures and kills in tortures –  slowly leads the development of Azerbaijan  to the “Syrian way”…

Dr. Leyla Yunus
Director of Institute for Peace and Democracy
Chevalier of the French Legion of Honour
Winner of International Theodore Hacker Award
Winner of Polish Sergio Vieira de Mello Award
Winner of Battle of Crete Award
Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought of the European Parliament Finalist

P.S. 30 March 2017 start negotiation between EU and Azerbaijan for the purpose of signing an EU-Azerbaijan Partnership Agreement

Law Enforcement Agencies of Azerbaijan sanction murders

Law Enforcement Agencies of Azerbaijan sanction murders 

Madat Guiyev
Head of State Security Service

Zakir Garalov
Prosecutor General

Ramil Usubov
Minister of Interior


4 May 2017(updated on the 27s of July 2018)

Investigation of the Institute for Peace and Democracy: 

Law Enforcement Agencies of Azerbaijan sanction murders.

On Novermber 26, 2015 police officers armed with machine guns stormed into the houses of Nardaran village residents (a village situated about 30 km away from the capital Baku) and opened fire against the villagers, killing two of their own fellow police officer and causing heavy wounds for six of the residents of the village. More than seventy people were arrested and four of the detained died as a result of tortures.
This act of crime did not go unnoticed by the international human rights community, which made sound statements pointing out gravity of crimes committed and called for the investigation of these crimes and for release of illegally detained citizens:
1. Severe Torture and Unfair Trials of Members of the Nardaran Community – OMCT. – 2.Azerbaijan: Abuse Allegations Mar High-Profile Trial. –
3. Amnesty International Public Statement. Azerbaijan: Torture and Travesty of Justice in Nardaran Case. –

Murder in custody is a usual practice for Azerbaijan.
Investigation of the Center for Monitoring of political prisoners revealed that on December 22, 2014 imprisoned Elshad Babayev died of tortures in colony number 14; on October 7, 2015 the only witness to the crime Yadigar Nuriyev also died in unknown circumstances in the colony number 14.
On April 28, 2017  prisoner of conscious -blogger Mehman Galandarov was found dead in the pre-trial detention facility number 1.  Galandarov who used to teach philosophy, sociology and political science was arrested on February 7, 2017. He was listed under number 8 in the category “Journalists and Bloggers” in our list of political prisoners published on March 31, 2017 (Список%20на%2031%20марта%202017.doc).
According to the information of Institute for Peace and Democracy (IPD), M. Galandarov was arrested on the same day as he expressed support on his Facebook page to the prisoner of conscious Giyas Bayramov, who called on the country’s citizens not to be slaves.
Authorities systematically arrest people for sharing critical thoughts on Facebook. The critics, bloggers are usually imprisoned for “ possessing or selling narcotics”. The same charges were used against Galandarov.  On the very day as he shared his support to Giyas Bayramov on Facebook, Nasimi District Court put him in pre-trial detention for 3 months. Yet, Galandarov must have been beaten to death already on April 28.  Interestingly enough, the official report of authorities  presented this death as a suicide, as if a 40 years old blogger hung himself in a broad daylight in the prison sell while his fellow prison mate was sleeping. Of course, this version lacks any reason: – it is forbidden to sleep during the day in the pre-trial detention facility number 1; – there are no conditions to commit suicide/hang yourself in the prison cell; –  there was no forensic examination of the body to find out the reasons that caused his death; – Galandarov’s body was not given to his relatives and they were not allow to bury him; – Prison staff of Pre-Trial detention facility buried Galandarov without any witnesses next to the graves of his parents.
One of the main goals of any criminal is to conceal the traces of crime in order to avoid punishment and take no responsibility for it.
This the operational mode of the so-called law-enforcement and judicial systems in Azerbaijan, but it is not possible to hide crimes forever: sooner or later all the crimes become known.
Assassination of Mehman Galandarov became known to the international community almost immediately and the calls to find the criminals were voiced instantly.
On May 3 the US Department of State made a special statement calling to find murderers of Mahman Galanadarov:
United States Calls for Investigation Into Death of Mehman Galandarov –
Decision of the ECHR dated April 13, 2017 about failure of authorities to investigate murder of journalist Elmar Huseynov shot in front of his apartment on March 2, 2005 as well as following decision about death in custody of Mahir Mustafayev on December 3, 2006 gave our organization an opportunity to start a special report on detention facilities of Azerbaijan turning into «death camps».
No employee of the law-enforcement bodies (Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of National Security/State Security Service, Ministry of Justice) was not brought to justice although death in custody happens on the regular basis.  No measures were taken to protect the right to life of prisoners or to  prevent tortures by the so-called “Public committee for monitoring of places of detention” or by the  Ombudsman.
Mass arrests and murders of citizens that started in May 2017 left behind all the previous crimes of the regime.
On May 7, 2017 the Prosecutor General, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Internal Affairs and State Security Service issued a joint statement on revealing a group of military personnel and civilians that have been compromising military secrets to the intelligence and special units of the Armenian Armed Forces (for mere satisfaction of  «material interests»).   Authorities opened a criminal case with article 274 (state treason) of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan and launched a special investigative group with the members of the above-mentioned agencies.
On May 7  the wave of arrests affecting not just the military but also civilian residents of the villages in close proximity of the frontline, targeted mainly Tartar region.  On May 7-8 media reported 47 arrests within one day, yet they did not specify names of the detainees. After that date press stopped reporting the arrests, yet unconfirmed information from the frontline suggested that number of  arrested people reached 400  by May 17.
People were taken from their homes or from the work places. The arrests were taking places without providing the accused with the lawyer, the imprisonment was happening without the court decisions.  Journalists and editors reporting on these arrests were called into the Prosecutor general’s office to warn them against distribution of «state secrets».( Till 7 June 2017 6 editors were called into Prosecutor generals”s office).  This is what the Deputy Prosecutor General Rustam Usubov  threatened to use against the editor of the website Mustafa Hajibeyli on May 23: and
On May 16  we already started receiving information about individuals tortured to death. As of May 24  IPD  was provided information about death of 5 people killed without investigation or trial:
1. Mehman Telman ogly Huseynov, born in 1987, was arrested on May 7 in his own house in Jamilli village of Tartar region. On May 16 his body was brought to his wife who is now raising her two little children alone. The family was not allowed   to bury Mehman Huseynov in the cemetery as he was “an enemy and a traitor”. Huseynov was buried outside of the cemetery of Agkand village without observing traditions and saying prayers.
2.  Sahavat Binnatov was arrested on May 7 in his house in the village Jamilli of Tartar region. On May 17 the body of beaten to death Binnatov was returned to the family, also banned from burying him in the village cemetery. The place of burial is unknown.
3.   Colonel Saleh Charif oglu  Gafarov was arrested on May 4 in his own apartment in the village Kutkashen Gabala district. The policemen  of the Gabala Police Department literally burst into the house and took away S.Gafarov without presenting any warrant for arrest. On May 14 his body was brought to the village Kutkashen. The members of the family were not even allowed to see the face of the deceased. Dug in the cemetery, which was surrounded by soldiers who did not allow relatives to the body of the colonel.
4.  Elchin Guliyev, resident of Tartar region was arrested on May 10-11.  His body too was returned to the family on May 18 with the same explanation that he was spying for Armenia.
5.  Leutenant  Tamkin Nizamioglu, born in 1993, was arrested on May 12.  His body was returned to his native village  Darkand in Ordubad region (Nakchivan)  in the sealed coffin. His family was not allowed to see the body or to bury him. The members of special services themselves performed the burial and only after that announced the family about the death of their relative.
How many more deaths or victims of this unlawfulness  shall we see in this country,  a member of the CoE and of the OSCE?  How long would the international community agree to turn a blind eye to the awful crimes of dictator regime in Azerbaijan?
Amidst all these crimes,  on May 22,  the delegation of European Parliament led by the member of the European People’s Party of Germany David McAllister met with President Ilham Aliyev ( and
European Union is going to sign a partnership agreement with Azerbaijan.
IPD is calling the international organizations of Europe and the US not to turn a blind eye on a complete breakdown of law and order and bloody crimes of the ruling regime in Azerbaijan. The never-ending crimes and murders can and have to become subject of investigation of the International Tribunal in Hague.
IPD calls reputable international human rights organizations such as OMCT, HRW, Freedom House, Amnesty International and FIHD to start an independent investigation of the murder of citizens of Azerbaijan, mass repressions in the frontline zone and to prevent further escalation of violence and prevent new cruel murders.

October 1, 2017                                                 

IPD investigation discovered new facts:
Another soldier was deadly beaten. Soldier of service for a fixed period Dayndur Nuru oglu Azizli, born in 1995, was drafted to the army in 2016. On May 12, 2017 he was arrested in Terter region. On July 20, police brought the coffin containing his body to his parents. Relatives managed to open the coffin and see the body of D. Azizli. His face was mutilated after brutal tortures.
IPD has received shocking information of the homicide of 39 years old colonel- lieutenant Saleh Sharif oglu Qafarov.
On May 5, 2017, the relatives of kidnapped by police colonel addressed to the police of Qabala district with the request to present them the proofs of the arrest, but they have not received any documents from the police.
On May 6, Prosecutor Office of Qabala district passed to the Qafarov’s family warrant for the arrest of colonel on charges of treason. The relatives were told that colonel was taken to Terter region and he was passed over to the Military Procurator’s office. The relatives have appealed to Military Procurator’s office as well as to the General Prosecutor, however they have not received any information regarding colonel’s location.
On May 14, after his funeral, his two brothers residing in Russia arrived to visit their mother. However, later, two brothers were not allowed to leave Azerbaijan and depart for Moscow. They were stopped at the passport control at Baku airport. They were told that they have to go back and wait for the permission to leave Azerbaijan. ?…. This permission was only granted to Qafarov brothers – Russian citizens on June 15, 2017.
The documents that were handed to IPD by Qafarov’s family amaze with their contradictions and testify on the total violation of law in Azerbaijan:
– The letter written on the blank of Military Procurator’s office № HP02 /2796 from June 16, 2017 addressed to the Military Prosecutor of Baku city – Imran Ahmedov (copy was sent to the mother of the colonel Qafarov – Qanire Qafarova)from the chief of the department of grave crimes by Military Prosecutor’s Office of Azerbaijan Republic -Mehti Huseynzade. The letter states that in response to Ganira Gafarova’s request to receive a certificate of her son’s death and to investigate the causes of death of former serviceman of the military unit of Defense Ministry No. 701 Salekh Sharif oglu Gafarov, it was decided to respond to her request

– On July 15, 2017, a certificate of the death of Salekh Gafarov was issued on May 13, 2017 in the Military Hospital of the Ministry of Defense against the decomposition of the lungs.

– Full amazement is evoked by Ganira Gafarova’s letter from the Ombursman’s office signed by Ombudsman of Azerbaijan Elmira Suleymanova on August 9, 2017, for No. 1 / 10938-17, in which it is written:

“Dear Ganira-khanum,
The investigation of the facts mentioned in your complaint to Ombudsman’s office that your son Gafarov Salekh Sharif oglu on May 14, 2017 ( S. Gafarov was arrested on May 4 – L.Y.) around 23.50 was taken from home by
employees of the Gabala district prosecutor’s office and police, about his death after 10 days ((S.Gafarov died according to the death certificate on May 13-L.Y.), about burial of a corpse, without giving you the opportunity to see it, not giving you information about the causes of your son’s death, not providing a death certificate (The death certificate was issued to the family on July 15 -L.Y.) was entrusted to the General Prosecutor’s Office of AR.
According to the received answers, on June 17, 2017, the Baku Military Prosecutor’s Office initiated the criminal case under No. 172256046 under articles 120.1, 341.2.1 and 341.2.3 of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan on the death of Colonel Gafarov Saleh Sharif oglu.

On June 18, 2017, servicemen of the military unit No. 057 of the Ministry of Defense, junior warrant officer Aghadadashov Javid Zahid oglu and senior warrant officer Dzhamshudov Gurban Gadim oglu were detained as suspects under articles 341.2.1 and 341.2.3 of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan. On June 20, 2017, in respect of these warrant officers, as a defendant, under the decision of the Baku Military Court, a preventive measure – 3 months of imprisonment was chosen for the articles 125, 341.2.1 and 341.2.3 of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan.

Currently, investigation is being carried out in the Office of Grave Crimes of the Military Prosecutor’s Office of the AR.

You were informed about this, and on July 14, 2017, you received a forensic medical examination of the MO on the death of your son.
Sincerely, E. Suleymanova”

How could two warrant officers kill colonel, who was detained by the police of Qabala region and conveyed to the Military Procurator’s office of Terter region? Military Procurator’s Office holds an investigation on the case of “Armenians spies”, and on May 4, they take colonel Qafarov away in capacity of suspect to this case. On May 6, they issue the warrant to his arrest. On May 13, he dies in Baku city Military Hospital. On May 14, he is buried, without allowing his family to say goodbye to him. His brothers are not allowed to leave the country during one month. All these violations of law were organized by two warrant officers. How is this possible?
On September 27, 2017 the widow of killed colonel Natavan Qafarova, born in 1985, mother of two kids, was invited via phone to come to General Prosecution Office on September 29, at 11:00 without elucidating the reason.
Lawyer Zubeyda Sadikhova accompanied Natavan Qafarova to the meeting at Prosecutor’s office. For more than 4 hours, Natavan Qafarova answered to the questions of Anar Nasibov – the investigator of the Military Prosecutor’s Office. The latter informed N. Qafarova that she is recognized as victim. He called the names of two accused – two warrant officers in the homicide of her husband, he said that currently there is investigation, and in the end of the year there will be the court.
But the investigator Anar Nasibov was unable to answer the questions of Natavan Gafarova:
– Why I was not allowed to see the body of my beloved husband?
– How could warrant officers of military unit #57 kill colonel, who was detained by the police of Qabala region and conveyed to the Military Procurator’s office of Terter region?
– Why even now I am not allowed to see the photo of my beloved husband? – Why during burial the whole graveyard was encircled by the soldiers? – Why was it needed to block the access of the family to body of the killed with the force of almost 200 soldiers? – On which grounds and by whom was it ordered not to allow brothers of the killed to leave the country? On September 29, in the evening, IPD disseminated all the information regarding the institution of the criminal case in Military Procurator’s office in relation of the homicide of colonel – lieutenant S. Qafarov, There is not any information related to other 5 homicides cases of the citizens of Azerbaijan at all.
Prosecutor General of Azerbaijan Zakir Garalov reacted to the information of the IPD immediately: on Saturday, September 30, he told journalists that by the end of this year the investigation into the case of a group of military and civilians accused of espionage will be completed. According to him, the group was identified by the Ministry of Defense, and currently the investigation is conducted by the Military Prosecutor’s Office of Azerbaijan.

Preliminary conclusion of the IPD

Families of six arrested men received information about the murders of relatives, but their corpses were not given out to families, and either the police or the military were buried. Only on the fact of the murder of Colonel S. Gafarov the Military Prosecutor’s Office opened a criminal case, accusing two warrant officers.
The accusation of two warrant officers of the active military unit in the murder of the arrested colonel, who was under investigation by the Military Prosecutor’s Office, can not stand up to any criticism
We can assume the following:
During May-July, 2017, more than a hundred servicemen and civilians were arrested on charges of espionage. The detainees were not provided with lawyers, there were no trials in which the accused were charged and a decision was taken on remand in custody.From the very first hours of detention, all the suspects were subjected to brutal torture. How many people died after torture, we do not know. The total number of detainees is also unknown. A number of detainees could not stand torture and confessed to treason. Their trial is likely to take place at the end of the year.

However, it was not possible to hide the murders of citizens under torture.The most active in demanding disclosure of the murder was the family of Colonel S. Gafarov

To two arrested on charges of espionage warrant officers: Aghadadashov Javid Zahid oglu and Jumshudov Gurban Gadim oglu was offered to take on the murder of the colonel instead of the charges of treason to the Motherland.
The trial for this murder is also planned for the end of the year
It was not necessary to bring the evidence of the crimes during both of this trials, because both trials will be closed.

July 27, 2018
Investigation of IPD revealed new facts     

Another soldier was beaten to death in Azerbaijan. Captain Suleyman Seyidaga oglu Kazymov was born in 1987 in the village Amankend of Djalilabad District. He graduated from Baku Military School by Nakhchevanski. After his graduation he served 6 years in Agdam as the commanding officer of battalion. Then he was transferred to Terter District as the deputy of the commanding officer of the regiment at military unit #701. He was arrested in May 2017 – in the period of mass arrests of  soldiers under accusation of espionage in favor of Armenia. On May 7, 2017 Captain S. Kazymov died from tortures at the military unit in Mingechaur city. The cause of his death was explained as car accident to his relatives. When his body was brought to his home village Amankend, military men refused to open the coffin and to show his body to his family. However, later his relatives were able to see his disfigured – in result of tortures- body. After this, Kazymov family referred with the case of his death to the military procurator’s office. Suleyman Kazymov’s wife was provided with official paper from military procurator’s office. It indicated that S. Kazymov was arrested under article 274 (treason) of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan Republic. It also contained several other articles. It also stated that no evidence was found to prove the case, and on December 4, 2017 the criminal case was – on the basis of Article 39.2 (Grounded risk) of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan Republic closed.As we can see, the criminal case ended 6 months after the murder under torture  of Captain of Armed Force of Azerbaijan. When his brother Dadash Kazymov went to the military unit, he was openly told, that his brother’s kidneys were damaged in the result of brutal beatings; he was transferred to the hospital, where he died. The investigation of this case was leaded by the chief investigator for especially important cases of the Investigation Department of the Military Procurator’s office – major Hummat Mammadov      Captain Suleyman Kazimov has wife and daughter.

3 April 2020

The investigation of IPD revealed new facts

 It became known about three other militaries, who died after torture:

  1. Ensign Elhan Agazade was arrested  on May 1, 2017. The body of beaten to death Elhan Agazade was given  out on May 10, 2017.
  2. Lieutenant Elchin Mirzaliyev   was arrested  on May 7, 2017. The body of beaten to death  Elchin Mirzaliyev   was given  out on May 25, 2017.
  3. Ensign Ruslan Odjaqverdiyev  was arrested  on the morning May 16, 2017. The body of beaten to death Ruslan Odjaqverdiyev was given  out on the evening on May 16, 2017. 


According to information, gathered by IPD, from May 2017 to April 2020, the investigators of Military Procurator’s Office in Tartar region, in Azerbaijan, killed 11 citizens of AR, 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


Police in Azerbaijan do not hide facts of torture

Police in Azerbaijan do not hide facts of torture




Our Institute for Peace and Democracy (IPD) regularly collects information about torture. Not all information about the cruel torture, especially in the police, we manage to receive and describe. But on July 4, 2018 a policy officers themselves put and distributed the photos of victim of the torture Yunis Safarov in social network!

Yunis Rafik oglu Safarov was arrested on July 3, 2018. He is accused of attacking the chief of executive power of Ganja city. He was not given a lawyer, there was no trial of his detention. But he was immediately beaten and tortured. The police exhibited his photos to show citizens what would happen to them if they would be arrested …


Last news:

1) The relatives of Yunis Safarov signed a contract with an independent lawyer. But they were forced to abandon this contract. Yunis Safarov is not given a lawyer

2) 9 July 2018 the jjournalists who wrote about Safarov’s case were brought to criminal liability.
“A lawsuit was filed under the Article 313 (official forgery, that is, deliberately publishing false information) of the Criminal Code. The investigation was entrusted to the Baku city prosecutor’s office.”

3) During 8-10 July 11 men were brought to criminal liability and about 30 people arrested….

4) During 10-12 July more than 200 people arrested, two colonel of policy died….

Today we have 151 political prisoners. In May 2018 was new wave of repressions; 6 activists of opposition parties were arrested and tortured.

Aliyev’s regime is carrying out repressions by imitating the fight with islamic terrorism

Aliyev’s regime is carrying out repressions by imitating the fight with islamic terrorism

On July 3, 2018 the attempted murder took place in Ganja city. Shooting Yunis Safarov has injured the head of the  local executive power – Elmar Veliyev and his body guard. On July 10, 2018 there was protest in Ganja, where two colonels were knifed.

During the meeting of the first half- year results, held on July 30, 2018, Prosecutor General of the Republic of Azerbaijan Zakir Garalov made a statement that in connection with latest developments in Ganja, 61 people were brought to criminal responsibility and arrested. He called them “the representatives of radical religious groups”. During his statement, he also indicated that 4 men were killed by special service due to armed resistance. Another 13  were put on wanted list.  The number of articles of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan, including terrorism, possession of weapons, the attempt to coup were brought against all arrestees.

On August 1, 2018, the resident of Ganja, Mr. Ismayilov (born in 1994)  was detained at the checkpoint “Shixli” located at  Azerbaijan – Georgia border.  He was also reckoned among the radical religious group.

The attempted  murder  (on July 3, 2018) of the head of the local executive power in Ganja – Elmar Veliyev served as the cause for the further wave of mass repressions under the guise of fighting against “Islamic terrorists”.  Already, on July 4, 2018, the photo of the brutally beaten, lying in the pool of blood Yunis Safarov appeared at social network.



Assistant to the President of Azerbaijan Republic for Public and Political Issues Ali Hasanov referred to above mentioned assassination attempt as ordinary criminal offence. However, the resonance within the society, caused by the posted photos of beaten almost to death Y. Safarov, and open support of residents of Ganja towards Safarov have led to the change in the strategy of Aliyev’s regime. Now Safarov was called Islamic terrorist, who -according to the official statement of the law enforcement bodies of Azerbaijan Republic has been at the same time Shiite (received education in Iran) and Sunni (fought on the side of ISIS in Syria).. In addition, he is the part of the large detachment of Islamic terrorists.

It is important to stress on the number of facts here:


1. Who is Elmar Veliyev?

Elmar Veliyev is  the head of the administrative power of Ganja city since 2011. He is the representative of the Kurdish clan from Armenia. The head of this clan is Beylar Eyyubov, who is the chief of the presidential security since 1993. This clan controls Western Districts of Azerbaijan Republic that are bordering with Georgia. Elmar Veliyev’s brother, Khanlar Veliyev is the military prosecutor in Azerbaijan. Elmar Veliyev himself is well known for his tyrannical and despotic character  in Ganja and outside of it.  Not only he allowed himself to publicly insult citizens,  desecrate  mosque, but also to assault … Confident in his own permissiveness, Elmar Veliyev, in 2013, initiated the fight with the chief of Main Police Department of Ganja city, the Major- General Rasim Musayev.

According to the information circulated in the press back then, during the event organized by the head of the administrative power of Ganja City, the visit to the graves of the martyrs was planned. A certain woman, the relative of one of the martyrs, who arrived from Russia to pay homepage to the grave of the deceased – participated at the event. She addressed to Elmar Veliyev by using very harsh  phrases, that he did not like. So Elmar Veliyev ordered the chief of Main Police Department Major – General Rasim Musayev to arrest this woman. He also ordered to drag her by her hair to the police car in front of the public. Rasim Musayev refused to fulfill this order, considering it to be beneath his dignity. After the end of the event arrogant head of the administrative power of Ganja city summoned city prosecutor and Rasim Musayev to his office, whereat he used improper language towards R, Musayev.  In return, he received several slaps from the Major General. After the incident, R. Musayev, who worked for many years in Ganja police, voluntarily resigned and moved to Baku, where he was appointed as the chief of the Internal investigation department by Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Elmar Veliyev’s personality can also be characterized by the fact that he have not allowed anyone from Ganja, including police garrison to participate at the funeral of the general  Rasim Musayev in September 2015. Yunis Safarov attempt was supported by Ganja citizens. Yunis Safarov name is associated now with the national heroism, the fight against despot. The songs composed in favor of the deed of Safarov and the abomination of E. Veliyev started appearing at social network.


2. Who is Yunis Safarov?
Born in Ganja, Yunis Safarov is Russian citizen; lived in Moscow; received higher education in law in Moscow. His mother teaches at Moscow’s Higher Educational Institution; his stepfather and brother-in-law are not Azerbaijanis, they are Christians. Safarov has never been Islamic radical, nor terrorist. According to his mother, Yunis Safarov took to his heart, and very sharply, all the crimes of Aliyev’s regime; criminals at power who drive citizens to the point of self-immolation, suicide.

3. Who has tortured and beat Yunis Safarov at Ganja Main Police Department on July 3, 2018?

There are two versions:

According to the first version, the head of the Criminal Investigation Department, Lieutenant- General Sarhan Ismayilov, and the chief officer of the criminal investigation department of the Main Police Department Qorhmaz Ibrahimov tortured Yunis Safarov. Sarhan Ismayilov made the video of the beatings with his own phone and sent it to Elmar Veliyev. Then Elmar Veliyev disseminated photos at social networks for the purpose of intimidation. 

According to second version, after Y. Safarov detention, Elmar Veliyev’s son Elmir Veliyev entered with the group of guards to his detention facility. And exactly this group brutally beat Safarov. According to unconfirmed information, Colonel Ilgar Balakishey,  Deputy Chief of Main Police Department, stopped the torture, and in fact, saved the life of Yunis Safarov. The photos of beaten Safarov were made by Elmir Veliyev.
The information of actual inactivity of police – during the year of the preparation  of the attempted murder is also interesting. On June 22, 2017, a year before, Yunis Safarov, forcibly took the firearms away from the guard of “Kapital Bank” at Kapaz district, Azerbaijan. Police source reports that few days after the crime, citizen Hamlet Abdullayev informed police that he knew the offender, and shared information about him. In his written statement, Hamlet Abdullayev indicated that well known to him Yunis Safarov, told that he wants to get a weapon in order to murder Elmar Veliyev for his wrongdoings towards people. The policy investigator Amil Abbasov start investigation.

However, police did not take any swift actions to detain Yunis Safarov. Besides, according to the employee of Ganja Main Police Department who wished to remain anonymous, Ganja Department of Security Service received information in early June, 2018, about the planned attempt at Elmar Veliyev. Security Service sent official notice to Ganja Main Police Department. The source highlights that after receiving the information, the head of Main Police Department Faig Shabanov said following: “If he (Elmar Veliyev) was killed, we would’ve got rid of him”.

It is also interesting that after the attempt at Elmar Veliyev, police hurried to get rid of unnecessary witness. Police searched the apartment of Hamlet Abdullayev, who gave written testimony against Yunis Safarov in June 2017 and “found” drugs and weapons. Hamlet Abdullayev was arrested. It is possible that he dies in the custody under unclear circumstances…

4. Who was spreading information about rally and participated at it in Ganja on July 10, 2018?

Until July 10, 2018, not a single rally or demonstration was organized anonymously in Azerbaijan. Information regarding the protest rally (July 10)  in Ganja was anonymously disseminated throughout social networks. This suggests that the action was actually a provocation that was organized by kurdish clan in order to achieve the number of goals. Just the fact itself, that there were no more than 150-200 people (and that’s according to official information) participating in the rally, whereat two police colonels were slaughtered, despite of the presence of several thousands police and internal troops on the streets – once again confirms the organized provocation.

In accordance with the Staff Scheduling there are three deputy chiefs at Ganja Main Police Department.  One of the three deputies is responsible for the safety of the events and for handling the personnel during illegal rallies. The deputy chief of Ganja Main Police Department together with the head of public security department, the heads of two divisions of the given department, the company commander and his deputy are always present during such demonstrations. At the same time, several officers of the Ganja Main Police Department are present there. However, on the video, recorder by unknown, it is seen how colonel is being slaughtered and none from personnel comes to help him. The killing of the colonels was planned and organized.

5. So, who were these two murdered police colonels?
The first one was the deputy of chief of Ganja Police Department, Colonel Ilgar Balakishiyev who stopped the torture of Yunis Safarov, and in such way saved his life.
The second one – the deputy chief of Ganja city Nizami District Police, Colonel Samed Abbasov was the brother of the akhund of Ganja mosque  – Tahir Abbaszadeh. Elmar Veliyev was at enmity with the akhund for many years, and exactly his brother’s colonel’s support allowed akhund to remain at large.
Thus, it is quite obvious that it was exactly the clan of Beylar Eyyubov who organized the murder of two police colonels, and Aliyev’s regime unfolded the defining propaganda of the need to fight with Islamic terrorist organization that initiated the association of the head of the executive power and two police colonels in Ganja city.
Already by August 15, 62 people were arrested and were called to account for criminal responsibility, and 5 people were murdered. Law enforcement agencies stated that killed and arrestees participate in the religious extremist organization.
6. Who was shot, alleging to the provision of the “armed resistance”?

– On July 13, Rashad Boyukkishiyev  was shot dead by police in Shamkir City. He was accused in the murder of Colonel Ilgar Balakishiyev. However there is no evidence to prove this crime, and the murder of the suspect closes this case.



– On July 21, in a joint statement of the Prosecutor’s General Office, Ministry of Internal Affairs, and National Security Service, it was stated that previously convicted Anar Islam oglu Bagirov – a member of religious terrorist organization, who was wanted hid in the Khojasen settlement of Binagadi district, was killed during armed resistance.



– On July 21, in a joint statement of the Prosecutor’s General Office, Ministry of Internal Affairs, and National Security Service, it was stated that previously convicted Anar Islam oglu Bagirov – a member of religious terrorist organization, who was wanted hid in the Khojasen settlement of Binagadi district, was killed during armed resistance.
– According to law enforcement agencies, on July 25, the resident of Ganja, the member of the movement “Muslim Unity” Agha Huseyn oglu Sarhani was also shot dead during armed resistance. Moreover, National Security Service disseminated photo of the murdered Sarhani, where he was lying with the gun in his hands. It is interesting, how person who was fired point blank, while falling managed to hold the gun in his hand? The Movement “Muslim Unity” issued the statement in which clearly indicated “On false accusations in the organization of the disorder in Ganja, innocent religious people are being killed, members of movement become the targets, the authority try to create fear in society”.



– On July 28, Fuad Tofik oglu Samedov was shot dead during the special operation of National Security Service in Samukh city. According to National Security Service, F. Samedov was also killed during armed resistance, and was one of the active members “of the radical religious group” and has participated in the riots in Ganja.

– On August 10, Muraz Rahimov was killed by policemen in Sumgait city. According to law enforcement agencies, he was also the member of the radical religious group and  was killed during armed resistance during the special police operation in Sumgayit. 

This is the fifth case of the elimination of the suspects for “religious radicalism” and involvement to the organization of assassination attempt of the head of executive power of Ganja – Elmar Veliyev and unrest in this city.

Thus, 62 people are arrested, 13 are wanted, and 5 are killed. The regime used the attempt of Yunis Safarov to murder Elmar Veliyev to the full extent in order to organize the new wave of repressions and killings of citizens.

Yunis Safarov is currently kept at pre-trial detention facility No. 1 in Kurdakhani. He is deprived of the possibility to communicate with lawyers, he is not allowed to call his mother or wife. Azerbaijani lawyer Elchin Sadikhov and Russian Yevgeny Scherbakov are not allowed to visit him.

Presumably, the number of killed “in armed resistance” will continue to increase, as will the number of those being arrested. In May 2017, about 400 people were arrested in Terter region, and about 20 of them were murdered due to the beatings and tortures. IPD was able to gather detailed information about seven citizens who died under the torture:

According  to Article 63 of the Constitution of Azerbaijan Republic, the citizen who is killed before the trial is presumed innocent, since he was killed without a court decision in his respect. But laws do not work in Azerbaijan.
The total neglect of the legislation of Azerbaijan and International Law, both in Terter (2017) and in Ganja (2018) cases is a clear evidence of established lawlessness and tyranny in Azerbaijan.

Leyla Yunus
Director of Institute for Peace and Democracy
August14, 2018

The murders continue…

On August 28, 2018, during a special operation of the National Security Service
  in the Khachmaz district of Azerbaijan, was shot and killed while providing “armed resistance”, accused of religious extremism and terrorism, Niyazi Najafov. This is the sixth citizen of Azerbaijan, killed in July-August 2018, under unclear circumstances …