The judges keep issuing unjustified verdicts against Abbas Huseynov


Abbas Huseynov

Analysis of violation of law during Abbas Huseynov’s judicial proceedings

Baku City Nizami District Court

Case № 7(007)-184/2023

27 April 2023

Presiding judge: Nariman Mehdiyev

Defender: Mina Mahmudova

A Prosecutor of the Non-Criminal Prosecution Department at the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Azerbaijan Republic, Huseyn Rustamli

A representative of the Penitentiary Institution No. 1, Vasif Safarov

A detainee, whose transfer was requested by the Penitentiary Institution No. 1 management, Abbas Huseynov


Abbas Huseynov was arrested during the events in the Nardaran settlement outside Baku: the events took place on 26 November 2015. At that time, during the clash between the police and settlement residents seven people were killed, four were wounded, and dozens were arrested. The majority of those arrested were members of the opposition “Muslim Unity” Movement. Their Chairman, Tale Bagirzade, was detained in 2015 and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment in 2017. The others arrested were mostly sentenced to 10 to 15 years in jail. According to human rights activists, all of them are on the list of political prisoners.

Along with T.Bagirzade, it was arrested his close friend and fellow member of the “Muslim Unity” Movement, Abbas Huseynov, who was also sentenced to a 20-year-period of imprisonment. While in prison Huseynov suffered numerous incidents of ill-treatment and beatings.

In April 2023, the management of the Penitentiary Institution № 1 addressed to the court with a submission to transfer Abbas Huseynov to the closed-type Gobustan prison. The submission indicated that Abbas Huseynov had committed illegal actions against the order in the courts on several occasions. Also, the inmate was characterized as a person prone to riotous behavior. We recall that the trials in the case took place in 2017. The colony management requested the Court to place that inmate in the closed-type (known as a “roof”) Gobustan prison for a period of 3 years.

On 27 April 2023, the Baku City Nizami District Court issued a ruling: to satisfy the Penitentiary management Institution No. 1 submission and transfer Abbas Huseynov to the Gobustan closed-type prison for a 1-year-period.


Commentary by expert lawyer:

The court verdict is unlawful and unjustified. As indicated above, it was written in the submission that A.Huseynov committed illegal deeds in the Court of Serious Crimes and the Court of Appeal in the course of consideration of his case in 2017. Such behaviors were, for example, when A.Huseynov threw his shoes in the direction of a witness or wrote something on the glass wall inside the cage in the courtroom as an act of protest in the Serious Crimes and Appeals Courts. As we can see, there is not a single word in the submission that A.Huseynov should be transferred from the Penitentiary Institution № 1 to Gobustan prison for the actions committed inside the Penitentiary Institution № 1.

The document of the Internal Order in Detention Centers, Paragraph 8, approved by the Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers dated on 26 February 2014, there is a list of the inmates’ duties in places of detention.

The submission states that on 13 August 2017, A.Huseynov was placed in the penalty zone for 3 days since he physically assaulted an institution employee, while banging his head against the wall. However, it does not indicate the employee’s exact name and whether he or Abbas Huseynov suffered any injuries. There was neither any expert opinion on the matter. There was no any evidence submitted to the Court.

The submission also stated that on 4 October 2017, A.Huseynov held radical Shiite discussions among the prisoners, incited them to disobey the staff of the institution demands. As for this ground, there is no information about who these prisoners were, whether they provided any explanations, what kind of pressure A. Huseynov exerted on other inmates.

The institution’s submission also states that on 14 May 2020,  A.Huseynov was placed for 5 days in the penalty area for breaking a telephone set and other equipment, on 15 May 2020, he broke a lamp and tore a towel, on 21 May 2020, he was placed for 7 days in the penalty area for damaging things in the cell. It should be pointed out that no evidences of the above-mentioned actions were submitted to the Court, there were neither any photos of the broken items, nor any acts that should had been drawn up on that occasion.

As it is stated in the Plenum Decision on the Supreme Court of the Azerbaijan Republic, paragraph 12, from 8 October 2010, “On the court practice in regard to release on parole, commutation of the outstanding part of sentence to a milder one, modification of the type of institution to serve the sentence and release on illness”:

“Deliberate violation of the regime is determined by a well-grounded ruling of the prison management simultaneously with the application of penalties to the prisoner”.

Based on the Court’s ruling, it is clear that the judge did not investigate objectively the submission, and the trial was held in a formal manner.

In the course of the trial, the defence argued that A.Huseynov’s forced multiple changes of place detention infringed his right not to be subjected to torture, as provided by the Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. It is clearly indicated in the decisions that A.Huseynov was placed in the penalty area more than once, while he was not given an opportunity to appeal against those rulings. It should be underlined that in 2017, when Huseynov was transferred from the Baku Investigative Isolator to the Gobustan prison, he had been beaten by the prison staff and left crucified for hours outside in the cold.

On 26 October, 2000, the European Court of Human Rights judgment in the case of Kudla v. Poland states,

“In order for ill-treatment to constitute a violation of the Article 3, it must attain a minimum level of severity. The assessment of this minimum level is inherently relative: it depends on all the case circumstances such as the nature and context of the treatment, the way in which the treatment is performed and the methods used, its duration, its effect on the physical or mental well-being and, in some cases, the sex, age and medical condition of the victim concerned.” – –{%22fulltext%22:[%22kudla%20v.%22],%22documentcollectionid2%22:[%22GRANDCHAMBER%22,%22CHAMBER%22],%22itemid%22:[%22001-58920%22]

As it is said in the Paragraph 1 of the European Prison Rules, all persons deprived of their liberty should be treated in a manner that observes their human rights.

According to the Article 3 of the European Prison Rules,

Restrictions placed on persons deprived of their liberty shall be the minimum             necessary and proportionate to the legitimate objective for which they are             imposed.

The Article 59 of the European Prison Rules states:

  • Prisoners charged with disciplinary offences shall:
  • be informed promptly, in a language which they understand and in detail,
  • of the nature of the accusations against them;
  • have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of their defence;
  • be allowed to defend themselves in person or through legal assistance when
  • the interests of justice so require;
  • be allowed to request the attendance of witnesses and to examine them or
  • to have them examined on their behalf;
  • have the free assistance of an interpreter if they cannot understand or speak
  • the language used at the hearing.

According to the Article 60 of the European Prison Rules,


  • Any punishment imposed after conviction of a disciplinary offence shall be
  • in accordance with national law;
  • The severity of any punishment shall be proportionate to the offence;
  • Collective punishments and corporal punishment, punishment by placing in a dark cell, and all other forms of inhuman or degrading punishment shall be prohibited;
  • Punishment shall not include a total prohibition on family contact;
  • Solitary confinement shall be imposed as a punishment only in exceptional cases and for a specified period of time, which shall be as short as possible;
  • Instruments of restraint shall never be applied as a punishment.

At last, the Article 64 of the European Prison Rules states,

Prison staff shall not use force against prisoners except in self-defence or in

cases of attempted escape or active or passive physical resistance to a lawful order and always as a last resort.

It has been said above that coercive measures, such as crucifixion, had been used against A.Huseynov. In this regard, as it is stated in Paragraph 68 of the European Penitentiary Rules, the use of chains and shackles is strictly prohibited.

In view of the above, we can conclude that the biased attitude of the penitentiary institution management and further the Court one resulted in a violation of the prisoner Abbas Huseynov’s fundamental rights, norms of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, precedents of the European Court of Human Rights, and the European Prison Rules, approved by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.