Former political prisoner tried to set himself on fire in front of Azerbaijani Presidential Administration
Former political prisoner tried to burn himself alive in Azerbaijan
“Prisoner of monument”, a young Azerbaijani activist, former political prisoner Giyas Ibrahimov tried to set himself on fire in front of the building of the Presidential Administration. For almost two years now, he has been trying to obtain a compensation of 36,000 euros from the state. This is the amount that the ECHR fined the Azerbaijani government with for the illegal arrest of Ibrahimov.
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“When freedom burns, the final solution, dreams fade away and all hope turn to dust”. This is the last thing that Giyas Ibrahimov wrote on his Twitter before his attempted self-immolation in front of the building of the Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan.
Ibrahimov was detained by the police and was held at the police station, but has already been released.
ECHR judgment on compensation
On February 13, 2020, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on the illegal arrest of Giyas Ibragimov and Bayram Mammadov. The Azerbaijani government was fined with 72,000 euros [$ 82,200].
Plaintiffs Ibragimov and Mamedov applied to the ECHR on several counts of violation of their rights. They complained of torture during their arrest, inhuman treatment of them, the unlawfulness of the search in their apartments and the unlawfulness of their detention pending trial.
The European Court recognized the violation of the rights of young activists at once under several articles of the European Convention, and awarded 36,000 euros [$ 41,100] to each of them in the form of compensation. It is worth noting that Bayram Mammadov received compensation from the Azerbaijani government a little later. But Giyas Ibragimov is still trying to get it.
Who are Giyas Ibragimov and Bayram Mammadov?
Giyas Ibragimov and Bayram Mammadov are known as “prisoners of the monument”. On May 10, 2016, on the birthday of the ex-President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev, they wrote “Happy holiday of slaves” (Qul bayramınız mübarək) and “F.ck the system” on the monument to Aliyev in the city center.
Until that day, a flower festival was held annually on May 10 in Azerbaijan. The words “flowers” (gül) and “slave” (qul) are consonant in the Azerbaijani language. After that incident, this holiday was no longer held.
But officially Ibragimov and Mamedov were convicted of drug possession. In the apartment where Bayram Mamedov lived with his family, 1.15 kilograms of heroin were “discovered”, as well as 1.01 kilograms of heroin in the apartment where Giyas Ibragimov lived.
Each of them was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but in 2019, they were pardoned by order of President Ilham Aliyev.
Death of Bayram Mammadov
On May 2, 2021, the connection with the 26-year-old activist Bayram Mammadov, who was living in Turkey at the time, was lost. On May 5, 2021, it was reported that his body was found in the sea.
According to official information, on May 2, Bayram Mammadov was on the shore in the Moda area in Istanbul’s Kadikoy district. At some point, his slippers fell into the water, and he rushed after them into the sea. After some time, Bayram disappeared from sight. Coast guard officers arrived at the scene and managed to pull the already lifeless body of Mamedov out of the water. Due to the fact that no documents were found during the examination of the body, he was handed over to the morgue as unidentified person.
As a result of the search work of his friends, the body of Bayram Mammadov was identified, he was handed over to his family after a forensic medical examination. The body of Bayram Mammadov was delivered to Baku on May 9, he was buried in a cemetery in the suburbs of the capital of Azerbaijan.