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Activist ‘tortured’ in Baku jail

11 July 2017
Gyias Ibrahimov (Ulviyya Ali /Twitter)

The lawyer of Giyas Ibrahimov, an activist detained on drug-charges he claims are trumped-up, has appealed to Azerbaijan’s General Prosecutor's Office to investigate alleged torture of his client.

Ibrahimov’s mother said her son claimed he was beaten in Baku Colony No. 2 on 8 July.

Later that day, after visiting Ibrahimov in custody, his lawyer, Elchin Sadigov confirmed that Ibrahimov claims to have been tortured from the first day of his detention.

The Penitentiary Service has denied the reports, Caucasian Knot reported.

According to Caucasian Knot, Sadigov has filed a complaint and appealed the case to the Prosecutor General Zakir Garalov and Ombudsman Elmira Suleymanova.

Ibrahimov and fellow activist Bayram Mammadov were arrested on 10 May 2016 after painting controversial graffiti the night before ‘Flower Day’, writing ‘Happy Slaves’ Day’ — a wordplay on Azerbaijani words for ‘flower’ and ‘slave’. Flower Day is dedicated to the birthday of Heydar Aliyev, the late national leader and father of the country’s current president, Ilham Aliyev. Last year was the 90th anniversary of his birth.

Baku City Court sentenced Ibrahimov to 10 years in prison on 25 October 2016.

Crackdown on Azerbaijani activists

Mammadov and Ibrahimov’s cases have provoked criticism towards Azerbaijani authorities by a number of international rights organisations. According to an American rights group Human Rights Watch, Azerbaijan has continued its thorough crackdown on dissenting voices.

Political activist and member of the opposition Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan Fuzuli Huseynov was sentenced to 10 days for disobeying police on 10 July, a day after he tried to hold a solo picket in the centre of Baku.

According to Ilham Huseyn, leader of the Popular Front’s youth committee, Huseynov was persecuted for political reasons, since he tried to hold a picket in support of Ibrahimov.

Another activist, Mehman Galandarov, was found dead in a Baku Detention Centre on 28 April; according to an official statement by the authorities, Galandarov committed suicide.

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