New List of 119 Political Prisoners

The working group of civil society in Azerbaijan on November 26 released a new list of 119 political prisoners.

The previous list released October 17 included 94 people. Of the 25 new political prisoners 24 are believers who were arrested on various criminal cases in connection with the events in Nardaran, and another one is a religious activist from Ganja, one of the coordinators of the working group, the human rights activist Rasul Jafarov told Turan.

In the 111-page report, political prisoners are divided into six groups.

 The category "Journalists / Bloggers" included bloggers Abdul Abilov and Rashad Ramazanov, journalists Seymour Hazy, Araz Guliyev, Nijat Aliyev and Fikret Faramazoglu.

The category "Writers / poets' mentions the satirical poet Tofig Hasanov and the author Saday Shekerli.

The category of "human rights activists" also includes a lawyer, head of the law firm Esaul Aliabbas Rustamov, sentenced to 7 years in prison on charges of bribery.

The group of "Young activists' includes five people - members of the movement NIDA Ilkin Rustamzadeh and Elgiz Qahramanov, activists that made graffiti on the monument to Heydar Aliyev, Bayram Mammadov and Giyas Ibrahimov, as well as an activist of the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA) Elvin Abdullayev.

The category "Politicians, party activists" includes five persons - members of PFPA Zeynalabdin Bagirzadeh, Fuad Gahramanli, Mammad Ibrahim and Asif Yusifli, as well as the leader of the Republican Alternative Ilgar Mammadov.

The category "Sentenced to life imprisonment" includes three former members of Special Purpose Police Detachment Elchin Amiraslanov, Arif Kazimov and Safa Poladov, who were sentenced to death in connection with the rebellion in March 1995. Subsequently, their execution was replaced by life imprisonment.

The category "Others" includes those arrested on the case of Khizmat movement and its leader Fethullah Gülen, Faig Amirov and Fuad Ahmadli, former Health Minister Ali Insanov, former investigator of the Zardob district prosecutor office Rufat Safarov, etc.

The group "Others" includes a subgroup of "political hostages", which includes those arrested for political activities of their relatives. We are talking about Elnur Seyidov (in-law of Ali Kerimli), Murad Adilov (brother of the opposition journalist Natig Adilov being in political emigration), Mubariz Abdullayev (nephew of a political emigrant, former rector of the private International University Elshad Abdullayev), Rufat and Rovshan Zahidov (relatives of the chief editor of Azadlig Ganimat Zahid).

The largest group is the "faithful activists", in which several groups have been arrested for various criminal cases in connection with the Nardaran events, six believers have been convicted for their participation in the protest "Freedom to hijab", five defendants in the case against the leadership of the Islamic Party and its leader, Movsum Samedov, 10 believers convicted in the case of Sayid Dadashbeyli's group, three convicts in the case of "Nur" and others.

In addition to the 119 people,25 potential political prisoners have been recognized as political prisoners and their cases are under monitoring.

The working group stresses that in fact the number of political prisoners is significantly more.

"However, the reactionary environment in the country leads many people to refrain from publicizing their cases. Another problem is lack of legal awareness and lawyers. Especially bad things happen in the regions, where people do not have the right to use defense mechanisms," the Working Group reported.

In compiling the list the authors were guided by the criteria of the PACE Resolution No. 1900 of 3 October 2012.

The new list has been signed by more than 20 human rights activists, NGO leaders and lawyers. -06B-

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