Cautionary tale: Do not exert pressure on lawyers

On 20 December the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)  announced the decision on the complaint of the citizen of Azerbaijan Ramil Pirgurban against the government.

The ECtHR found a violation of the rights of  Pirgurban  under the Articles 3 (prohibition of torture), 5 (illegal arrest) and 6 (right to a fair trial) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

According to a lawyer Asabali Mustafayev, the ECHR acknowledged Pirgurban torture by the police and ordered to pay him compensation of 19.000 Euro.

In 2010, Sumgayit police detained Pirgurban and two more persons involved in trafficking in cars. However, the police accuse them of drug trafficking and extorting large sums to close the deal.

The detainees refused to pay and  were  accused of drug trafficking, and they face from 5 to 12 years in prison. Pirgurban was  severely beaten, burned with cigarettes and body stun.

" The documents submitted by police  considered the presiding judge. Young, but already in the rank of Major , the police officer committed a number of violations, exceeding the period of pre-trial detention for more than 48 hours," said the lawyer. Mustafayev insisted on  private definition with regard to the police major.

The first examination carried out at the request of the lawyer, "did not see" injuries on the body of the detainees. At the same time, the lawyer sent a complaint to the investigator's actions in the Interior Ministry, the Attorney General and others institutions. Later, the investigator was removed from the case. The new examination confirmed that Pirgurban was beaten, there were traces of burns  of cigarette on his body, however, the prosecutor refused to  file a lawsuit on the  fact of the torture.

At the same time, the Sumgayit City Court found the fact of torture. Despite that, the prosecutor appealed against this decision, it was upheld. But even after that the prosecutor's office refused to initiate criminal proceedings. Thus,  the case was sent to the ECHR.

"The investigation reclassified the charges against Pirgurban  to a softer Article 234.1 (illegal possession of drugs). Under this Article the  case  went to court. However, the prosecutor referring to the indictment of the shortcomings, demanded to return the case for further investigation. However, the criminal case was dismissed, and Pirgurban  was released.

Some time later, the same police major was arrested in another case. He sent me his brother and asked me to be his lawyer, because  he trusted me only, offering  $10.000. Although I needed the money, but found it immoral to accept his offer. I want to say that even officials who gang up on us, do not forget that  some time they also may need a lawyer," said Mustafaev.-06B-

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