A military court has sentenced four more accused of torturing victims of the "Terrorist case"

A military court has sentenced four more accused of torturing victims of the "Terrorist case"

On June 4, the trial of four servicemen - Ruslan Mikyailov, Sanan Mashiyev, Jabir Gahramanov and Elchin Aliyev - ended in the Baku Military Court. These soldiers, who served in military units in the Terter, Aghdam and Beylagan districts, were accused of committing crimes against the victims of the "Terter case".

The court sentenced:  Ruslan Mikayilov to 6 years and 10 months, Sanan Mashiyeva to 4 years and 10 months, Jabir Gahramanov to 6 years and 8 months, Elchin Aliyeva to 5 years and 8 months in prison.

The state prosecutor asked to sentence Mikayilov and Mashiyev to 9 years and 10 months, Gahramanov to 8 years and 5 months, and Aliyev to 7 years and 8 months in prison. According to the Prosecutor General's Office, in May-June 2017, a group of military personnel was illegally detained in the Terter district on charges of spying on Armenians.  In violation of the law, officers of the Ministry of Defense took part in the investigation, who involved everyone they considered necessary, without having the authority to do so.

"According to official information, in May-July 2017, 452 people were detained and subjected to inhuman treatment and torture in military units of the 1st and 2nd army corps. According to our calculations, we are talking about the order of 700 people. Even larger figures were mentioned in the press," human rights activist Rasul Jafarov said at a press conference on December 23, 2023.

Those convicted today and a number of other servicemen committed torture and deprived their colleagues of their liberty. They were found guilty under the Articles 293.2 (torture or inhuman treatment), 341.2.2 (abuse of official authority), 341.2.3 and 128 (intentional infliction of minor harm to health).  The positions of the convicts are not disclosed.

In recent years, relatives of servicemen killed during the investigation have held numerous protests demanding an objective investigation, punishment of falsifiers and the release of innocent people convicted of "espionage".

Human rights activists and opposition political parties have issued numerous statements calling on law enforcement agencies and the government to put an end to this disgrace and falsifications committed by senior officers of the Ministry of Defense and the Military Prosecutor's Office.

Under pressure from public opinion, the authorities were forced to return to the revision of the "Terter case" and recognize the imprisonment of innocent people.

In December 2021, the Prosecutor General's Office resumed the investigation into the "Terter case" and 20 people were acquitted by the courts (two posthumously).  16 people convicted of treason were acquitted.  Another 13 were acquitted by the decision of the Military Prosecutor's Office in 2018.

Despite the rehabilitation of the majority of those illegally convicted, 10 people still remain in custody and human rights activists are seeking a review of their cases.

After the investigation was updated, a group of soldiers accused of torture were arrested. At the end of last year, two groups of 10 military personnel were sentenced to terms ranging from 5.5 to 9.5 years in prison. The highest-ranking of them was Major General Bekir Orujev, who was sentenced to 9.5 years. However, the Court of Appeal subsequently reduced the term of arrest by three years.

The victims demanded the prosecution of other high-ranking generals, including former corps commander Hikmet Hasanov and former Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces Najmeddin Sadigov.

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