“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