Ismayilli Trial: Request Larger Venue
Lawyers for Ilgar Mamedov, head of the REAL movement have requested that his trial be held in a larger setting. If their request is not granted, they may refuse to participate in the trial, according to lawyer Khalid Bagirov's statement to Turan.
The Sheki Court on Grave Crimes is too small to accommodate the trial of 18 people. Bagirov stated that the accused's elementary rights were compromised. "18 people are sitting in a narrow cage. The judge could not even see their faces in order to establish the identity. Defendants to see the judge had to climb onto the cage," said the lawyer.
At preparatory meetings on 4-5 November, defendants were literally choked with anguish in the cell. "Therefore, we formally submitted applications to end this horror as soon as possible," said the lawyer.
In turn, Natig Jafarli, executive secretary of REAL said that the charges against Mamedov and Yagublu are political ones and the fight for their rights will be carried out in the political arena.
REAL in particular continues to work with international organizations to protect the rights of Mamedov and ensure that an open trial occurs. At the beginning of the hearing on November 18, Sheki will be visited by representatives of the embassies of Western countries and international organizations.
Jafarli believes that if Western representatives are not allowed to observe the trial or journalists and human rights defenders are not permitted to do this, it will cause a negative response, since there is a European Parliament resolution calling for the release of Ilgar Mamedov and Tofig Yagublu.
Riots occurred in the town of Ismayilli on January 23-24. The reason for this was the Chirag hotel manager's hooliganism and an accident involving a nephew of the chief executive, who insulted the local population.
A group of residents set fire to the hotel and his car in the backyard. The next day, the locals began to protest, demanding the resignation of the district chief. Later the action escalated into clashes with security forces.
Mamedov and Yagublu arrived in Ismayilli on January 24 to review the situation while the riots were occurring.
They were later arrested and charged with organizing mass disorder and resisting arrest.
The international community has recognized Mamedov and Yagublu prisoners of conscience and repeatedly called for their immediate release. The authorities have ignored all these calls. Besides Mamedov and Yagublu, 16 others stand before the court. -06B-