Photos leaked of allegedly tortured detainees in Azerbaijan
Photographs of allegedly tortured detainees in a Baku police station were leaked on social media on August 11.
Some of the individuals in the photographs are completely naked, and in several photographs, faces are visible.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs stated that the photographs were not actually taken in Azerbaijan, but the bloggers gave several arguments that, in their opinion, prove the ministry of lying.
The photos appeared on the Facebook page of the Azadliq (Freedom) newspaper banned in Azerbaijan, under the signature of the former editor-in-chief of this newspaper, Ganimat Zahid, who now lives in France.
Comments under the photographs claim that they were taken during torture of detainees at the headquarters for combating organized crime of the Azerbaijani Interior Ministry.
Who took and distributed the photographs is unknown. There is also no information about the people in the photos.
“These photos have been carefully studied from our side. The persons in these photographs are not citizens of Azerbaijan. The photographs were not taken in Azerbaijan,” the Interior Ministry said.
One of the pictures shows the flag of Azerbaijan, on this occasion the ministry said that “anywhere in the world you can find the flag of Azerbaijan and photograph it.”
Soon the Azerbaijani blogger Habib Muntezir, who lives in Germany, responded to this:
“What about the coat of arms of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the photo? Can this also be found anywhere in the world? What liars and scoundrels you are. And how can the people believe in you??!”.
The incident caused a storm of indignation among users on social media. A few characteristic comments:
“There is legal punishment for offenses, but humiliation of human dignity in this form is unacceptable.“
“I can imagine what they are doing with the opposition. Poor front-line soldiers.“
“If the people remain indifferent to their fate, the police will exterminate us all.“
“This is the power of the system. This was spread deliberately, of course. A person who sees this will no longer join political processes from fear. But this is also a blow to the authorities: they increase hatred amongst the people, which will not lead to anything good.“