Akif Gurbanov and other defendants are threatened in jail

Akif Gurbanov and other defendants are threatened in jail

The Platform of the “Third Republic” issued a statement stating threats to Akif Gurbanov, the leader of this organization,  in the Baku pre-trial detention center-1. It is said that a high-ranking government official appeared in the pre-trial detention center and demanded that Gurbanov stop making accusations against the head of state. Otherwise, Gubanov was threatened with torture. “At the same time, a number of other persons illegally arrested in the case of “Toplum TV” and the Institute of Democratic Initiatives were threatened by the head of the Baku pre-trial detention center-1, Elnur Ismayilov. He also stated that their situation would worsen if Akif Gurbanov continued to make such statements. They were severely threatened with ill-treatment," the statement said.

"Political prisoners even in pre-trial detention centers and correctional institutions face threats of torture," the statement said. All this violates Azerbaijan's obligations under international legal instruments signed by the country, and in particular, Article 7 of the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the Platform's statement further notes.

The authors of the documents express alarm and call on the Azerbaijani authorities to put an end to the inhumane treatment of political prisoners and release them immediately.

They also call on international organizations and foreign embassies in Baku to take measures within their mandate to end the inhumane treatment of Akif Gurbanov and other persons arrested in his case. 

In turn, the public relations department of the penitentiary service denied reports of threats to Gurbanov.
A representative of the department, responding to a request from Turan, said that the allegations that Gurbanov was received by some outsider and subjected to threats are not substantiated.
The reports about threats to him from the management of the pre-trial detention center, as well as the introduction of restrictions on his visits and telephone conversations with relatives, are also untrue. Gurbanov's rights to meetings, telephone conversations and receiving transmissions are ensured in the manner prescribed by law.

* A week ago, Gurbanov's speech in the Court of Appeal was in the media, in which he harshly criticized the country's authorities and the methods of the security forces in carrying out repression against critics of the government.

After that, Gurbanov, according to his associates, was deprived of meetings and telephone conversations with his family. However, the prison service denied these allegations and stated that he had no restrictions on receiving broadcasts, visits and telephone conversations.

**Akif Gurbanov was detained on March 6, 2024 as part of the “Toplum TV” case. On March 8, the Khatai District Court arrested him for 4 months.

Alesker Mammadli, founder of the “Toplum TV” website, Ruslan Izzatli, member of the Platform of the “Third Republic,” Mushfiq Jabbar, editor of “Toplum TV,” Ramil Babayev, Ilkin Amrahov and Ali Zeynal, employees of the Institute of Democratic Initiatives, were also detained.

All the detainees were accused of smuggling currency, while pro-government media reported on the alleged "illegal" receipt of grants from abroad by these persons. International organizations, including the US State Department, have called on the Azerbaijani authorities to release those unjustly arrested.

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