34 people arrested for political reasons in Azerbaijan in 3 months
Political prisoners in Azerbaijan
According to a statement by human rights activists, 34 people have been arrested in Azerbaijan for political reasons over the past three months. During the same period, 12 political prisoners from the previous list were released. Thus, there are currently 204 political prisoners in the country.
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The Union for the Freedom of Political Prisoners in Azerbaijan (SSPZA) published an updated list on July 31, which includes 204 people. The previous list of the human rights structure was made public on April 20 and included 182 people.
Twelve people were removed old list, some of whom fell under the May pardon or were released at the end of their sentence. Thirty-four names were added.
Among them are opposition politician and scientist-economist, chairman of the Azerbaijan Democracy and Welfare Party Gubad Ibadoglu, former MP, public figure and businessman Nazim Beydemirli, member of the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan Elkhan Aliyev. The rest of the new faces on the list are believers arrested in April-July on charges of drug trafficking. The total number of believing political prisoners reached 147 people.
204 political prisoners are classified into 7 groups.
In the first one there are 5 “journalists and bloggers”, including Polad Aslanov, Osman Narimanoglu and bloggers Bakhtiyar Hajiyev, Rashad Ramazanov and Aslan Gurbanov.
There are 7 people in the “Members of opposition parties and movements” group, including activists of the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan – Alizamin Salayev, Niyameddin Ahmedov, Shahin Hajiyev, Agil Humbatov, as well as the three above-mentioned new faces – a member of the same party Elkhan Aliyev, head of the APDB Gubad Ibadoglu, and ex-deputy Nazim Beydemirli.
There are 5 people in the group “political emigrants deported from Germany”.
There were 147 believers in the group.
7 people in the Terter case and 22 in the Ganja case remain on the lists.
Another 11 political prisoners are serving life sentences.
The latter were arrested in the mid-1990s in connection with the OPON rebellion and other crimes, and sentenced to death. After the abolition of the death penalty, they were automatically replaced by a decision of the Parliament with capital punishment for life imprisonment, although at the time of their arrest, an alternative to execution was 15 years in prison. Human rights activists believe that since the law does not have retroactive effect, these individuals should have been released.
The list of SSPZA has been compiled by the director of the Institute for Peace and Democracy, Leyla Yunus, and the head of the Center for Monitoring Political Prisoners, Elshan Hasanov, since November 2018. For the first time, more than 200 people appeared on it.