Novella Jafaroglu: Arrest of Gezal Bayramli and Afgan Mukhtarly - Absurdity

Baku / 02.06.17 / Turan: Pressure on the Azerbaijani authorities will intensify. One of the reasons is the recent arrests of the PFPA vice-chairman Gezal Bayramli and the journalist Afgan Mukhtarly. This opinion was voiced by Novella Jafaroglu, the head of the Society for the Protection of Women's Rights in an interview with Voice of America.

"The arrest of Gezal Bayramli does not mean anything good for Azerbaijan, because the whole world rises in support of innocent women. So it was with Leila Yunus and with the journalist Khadija Ismayilova," she said.

"Gezal Bayramli did nothing wrong, and her arrest has no basis. According to the presidential decree signed a few days ago, such issues can be resolved by fines. Therefore, the arrest of Gezal Bayramli is simply absurd," she said.

"We have written a letter to First Vice President Mehriban Aliyeva and try to get a meeting with the relevant state bodies to release Gezal from arrest. We do not need new political prisoners. Azerbaijan is criticized at all levels even without that," she said.

Concerning accusations of passivity in the issue of the protection of unjustly arrested and convicted persons, Jafaroglu said there are many new human rights bodies in the country.

"We were criticized and accused a lot, so we decided to give way to the young and let them show activity," she said.

Returning to the arrest of Afgan Mukhtarly, Jafaroglu called his detention "atrocity."

"Why was it necessary to show off so demonstratively and deliver him to Azerbaijan? What did he do? Such actions simply blacken the image of Azerbaijan," she noted.

Referring to the situation with human rights in general in the country, she called her "critical", even without the problem of political prisoners.

Every month, there are 6-7 applications to the court about violation of women's rights. It happens they win the trials, but at what cost they get this victory! And everything happens because there are a lot of gaps in the laws.

Previously, there was the possibility of meeting with prisoners, seeking their release, as well as changing the measure of restraint. Now everything has become more complicated.

Jafaroglu sees the need to resolve all issues related to human rights within the country. "Of course, international organizations are needed, but still the decisive word is for Azerbaijan. It is necessary to understand that the more people are victims of persecution, the worse for Azerbaijan, and the pressure will grow," she said. -16B-

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