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 Friday, June 28 2013

More torture occurring in Azerbaijan prisons

Baku. On Thursday, a Public Alliance
"Azerbaijan has no political prisoners" presented a report
titled:  "The conditions in places
of detention and the situation with the rights of prisoners."


The report is based on information from
prisoners and their families, as well as on the observations of the members of
the Alliance, founded by former political prisoners and "prisoners of
conscience." Coordinator of the Alliance, Oktay Gulalyev said that human
rights defenders are not able to monitor prisons because of obstacles placed by
the management of the Prison Service, who also refused to answer requests.


"We have filed a lawsuit against the
head of the Prison Service, Madat Guliyev; July 4 the  case will be considered in the Baku
Administrative Economic Court N 1," said Gulalyev.


According to him, the situation in the
prisons is hard, corruption is rampant, and there is discrimination against
prisoners.


"The most depressing is that the
prisoners diseased with AIDS, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases are
kept together with healthy. Food of prisoners is also a source of disease. Many
of the prisoners try to eat the food delivered from homes," said Gulalyev.


Recently there have been allegations that
prisoners are tortured. Gulalyev identified 10 officials involved alleged
abuses:  Arshad Mammadov (former head of
the 14th  jail), Alzamin Guliyev (the
current head of the 14th jail), Rauf Mejidov (Tartar district police chief, and
former deputy chief of Sabirabad police); Seyfeddin Guliyev (chief duty of the
Sabirabad district police), Sayid Seyidov (head of the Directorate for
Combating Organized Crime MIA), Azer Seyidov (Head of the Baku prison), Osman
Sahin (head of the covered Gobustan prison), Aftandil Agayev (N12prison) ,
Shakir Bayramov (Head of Ganja jail.)


According to Gulalyev, the rights of
arrested are violated from the moment of their arrest. All trading points and
service centers in prisons pay bribes to the leadership. Thus, the bathhouse
attendant pays 900 manat a month, responsible worker for the dining room pays
900 manat, telephone operator pays 2000 manat, the chief food warehouse pays
most of all," said Gulalyev.


The Alliance made a number of
recommendations to improve the situation. In particular, it was proposed to
amend the legislation, to close the detention centers and prisons that are in
poor condition, to investigate cases of corruption, etc.


He also called on the ICRC, the Council of
Europe and other organizations to keep the focus on the situation in
Azerbaijani prisons.


Another member of the alliance, Elshan
Hasanov, said that monitoring will be continued, and a report on the situation
in the Gobustan prison will be published soon. 
Sakina Gurbanova, mother of young NIDA activist, Zaur Gurbanly (who suffers
with thalassemia), said that authorities want her son's death.


"If something happens to my son, the
responsibility for this will be bare the authorities of Azerbaijan," she
said.


Commenting on the accusations made at the
presentations, the representative Department of Public Relations of the Prison
Service has rejected accusations of the agency, calling them absurd.


The Prison Service has said that their
departments are open to international monitoring agencies that meet with
detainees in private. In regard to infrastructure, new penitentiaries that meet
international standards are under construction.

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