Even knowing what will happen to us, I would go to that monument again...

Bayram Mammadov, named by human rights activists as a "prisoner of the monument", was released as a result of pardon on March (2019) after a three-year imprisonment in the Azerbaijani jail. He was convicted of drug offenses, being arrested the next day after he and Giyas Ibrahimov wrote political slogans on a pedestal of Heydar Aliyev's sculpture.

Interview with G. Ibrahimov was published by Turan

http://www.contact.az/ext/news/2019/3/free/Interview/ru/79733.htm

Bayram Mammadov answered questions from the Turan agency.

- Why did you choose such an unusual way of expressing political protest - the inscription on the pedestal under the sculpture of G. Aliyev?

- Symbols are very important for each authority. Symbols give rise to people's fear of power. People are afraid of power or believe in its eternity. When people lose faith in symbols, deny and destroy them, are not afraid of symbols, then the system begins to collapse. In this country, the symbol of power is Heydar Aliyev and his monuments. We led and are today leading an ideological, leftist struggle against the system. The inscription on the pedestal was our logical continuation of the struggle against the system. After this action, the monuments to Heydar Aliyev as symbols of power lost their significance. People began to reject fear. This is just the beginning.

- How did you conduct your "operation"?

- Until that day, we studied the situation around the monument for a few days; carefully inspected the environment, the places of street cameras, lighting, the movement of the police and civilians who protected the territory. However, we needed this knowledge not for our security and freedom, but for not being prevented from fulfilling our plans.

- What happened next?

-"Then we were arrested, tortured and insulted." It did not come as a surprise to us; we knew in advance, what we could expect. I am not telling this in order to present myself as a hero and do not want the details of our stay in prisons to intimidate readers, turn them away from the struggle for freedom.

-Was the announced term of imprisonment a heavy blow for you?

- Before me, Giyas was sentenced to 10 years in prison, so I myself said at the court session that I would be sentenced to a 10-year term. I accepted the sentence very simply, even with a smile.

- Tell us about the conditions in the jail.

- In general, I do not recognize the punishment system, and I reject it. Prisons create an army of criminals, and do not educate convicts. In prisons, people learn about new ways of punishment, previously unknown to them, and become even more sophisticated criminals. In fact, prisons punish not convicts, but innocent people - their relatives. In our jail, conditions were worse than in others. Dust from the stone quarry, lack of water, frequent sudden changes in the weather during the day, artificial problems created by the administration and discrimination have become ordinary things for us, a way of life. The authorities thought that such an attitude towards me would break me, but on the contrary, my hatred of power became even more motivated.

- What are your plans for the future?

- I do not live according to the plan, I have no plans, and we will see what happens to us.

- When did you feel free?

- Freedom for me is a completely different state. Now I feel not freedom, but find myself in more comfortable conditions than prisoners. The only difference in this is between prison and freedom.

- If you knew how you would be punished would you do it again?

- If I had known that the torments I had experienced would return in many times greater size, I would go to the monument without fear again, even with my eyes closed. Just next time I would try to do more than I could in the past. I hope you will not change any of the words I have said.

- Why did you choose such an unusual way of expressing political protest - the inscription on the pedestal under the sculpture of H. Aliyev?

- Symbols are very important for each authority. Symbols give rise to people's fear of power. People are afraid of power or believe in its eternity. When people lose faith in symbols, deny and destroy them, are not afraid of symbols, then the system begins to collapse. In this country, the symbol of power is Heydar Aliyev and his monuments. We carry out an ideological, leftist struggle against the system. The inscription on the pedestal was our logical continuation of the struggle against the system. After this action, the monuments to Heydar Aliyev as symbols of power lost their significance. People began to reject fear. This is just the beginning.

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Question-answer

İran Prezidentinin həlak olduğu hadisə Azərbaycan- İran münasibətlərinə təsir edə bilərmi? – Nəsimi Məmmədli Çətin sualda



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