Hunger strike of Azerbaijani political prisoner Salekh Rustamov hits 17th day
The health condition of political prisoner Salekh Rustamov is currently assessed as ‘borderline critical’. His indefinite hunger strike has been going on for 17 days. Users of the Azerbaijani segment of social media demand the release of Rustamov.
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On November 6, 2021, political prisoner Salekh Rustamov went on an indefinite hunger strike demanding his release. According to his lawyer Bahruz Bayramov, Rustamov’s condition is deteriorating:
“Salekh Rustamov’s condition is critical. He told me that in the middle of the week he would go on a dry hunger strike”, the lawyer said in an interview with Turan.
Bayramov added that Rustamov was very lethargic, it was hard for him to speak and he could only last 10 minutes of their meeting.
Users of the Azerbaijani segment of social media have launched a flash mob under the hashtag #freesalehrustamli demanding his immediate release.
Salekh Rustamov was arrested in May of 2018. He was sentenced to 7 years and 3 months in prison on charges of drug trafficking.
Human rights activists have recognized Saleh Rustamov as a political prisoner, and claim that he was arrested due to his funding of opposition Popular Front of Azerbaijan (PFA).
According to local media reports, the former head of the Gadabay region of Azerbaijan, a participant of the first Karabakh war, Saleh Rustamov, while living and working in Russia, sent small amounts of money to support the PFA. He was arrested on the third day after his arrival in Azerbaijan.
In early November 2021, the Azerbaijani parliament adopted an amnesty law, which also applies to participants of the first and second Karabakh wars, however, Salekh Rustamov was not included to it.