Political Prisoner Agil Gumbatov Placed in Punishment Cell, His Wife Claims

Political Prisoner Agil Gumbatov Placed in Punishment Cell, His Wife Claims

Agil Gumbatov, a political prisoner and activist of the Popular Front Party, has been placed in a punishment cell in the 2nd institution of the Penitentiary Service of the Ministry of Justice. His wife, Aigyun Gumbatova, disclosed to Turan that this punitive measure followed his protest against the absence of political prisoners in the pardon list published on May 25.

"My husband was first beaten, then tortured, and placed in a punishment cell," Aigyun Gumbatova reported. The pardon list, released in connection with Republic Day on May 28, omitted journalists, human rights defenders, public activists, and politicians recognized as political prisoners by international organizations.

Information regarding Agil Gumbatov’s situation was relayed to Aigyun by relatives of other prisoners held in the same institution in the village of Bina. Following her husband's punishment, Aigyun appealed to the Ombudsman. Initially, she was assured that the matter would be investigated, and later informed that Agil had been transferred to a medical facility of the Penitentiary Service.

"When Agil is in the prison hospital, he calls me. For two days, my husband has not called. I do not believe the ombudsman; my husband was placed in a punishment cell," she asserted.

Aigyun Gumbatova planned to protest today, but the current dusty weather in Baku, which her autistic eldest son cannot tolerate, has delayed her plans. She intends to hold the protest on another day.

Agil Gumbatov was detained on August 11, 2021, in connection with the alleged stabbing of a resident of Zira village near Baku. His lawyer claimed that Gumbatov signed a confession under duress after being beaten. Later, Gumbatov recanted his initial testimony, stating that it was given under torture. On November 15, 2021, a Baku court sentenced Gumbatov to 10 years in prison on hooliganism charges. A cassation appeal against his conviction was dismissed by a Baku court on February 7. Human rights activists have recognized Gumbatov as a political prisoner.

Elkhan Aliyev, another activist of the Popular Front Party, held a dramatic protest today by swallowing the battery from his watch. This action was in response to the Baku Court of Appeal's refusal to release him and the omission of political prisoners from the pardon list, according to his lawyer Neymat Kerimli.

Elkhan Aliyev was arrested in July 2023 on charges of "fraud" and "production and use of a false document." Aliyev has denounced the accusations as baseless, and human rights activists have also recognized him as a political prisoner.

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