Center for National and International Studies
“Given the substantial number of prisoners subjected to torture and the conditions of their detention, activists and human rights advocates are expressing concerns about the well-being of incarcerated activists…”
(Lack of ) Human Rights and Freedoms
Fazail Aliyev, a member of the Gazakh District Branch of the Azerbaijan Popular Front Party (APFP), along with his son, was apprehended by the Gazakh District Police Department. Following a one-day detention, his son, Farid Aliyev, received a 30-day administrative detention sentence and he a 200 manats fine, after which he was released based on a court decision. Fazail Aliyev, who is registered as a second-group disabled oncology patient, was not detained according to the law due to his health condition. However, Fazail Aliyev reported that his medical information, related to his oncology condition, was allegedly removed from the hospital by Rajab Babash, the Head of the Executive Power, yesterday, and he was denied to obtain essential medication for his illness.
Lawyer Agil Layij has reported that Emin Ibrahimov, who was arrested on political grounds, is being subjected to mistreatment while in prison. Layij said that he met with Emin Shaig Ibrahimov at the Administrative Detention Center, where he recounted the events leading to his arrest. Ibrahimov said that yesterday afternoon, individuals claiming to represent Azersu knocked on his door. As soon as he opened the door, several individuals in plainclothes entered his apartment without permission, forcibly detained him, and transported him to the Foreign Affairs Department of the Prosecutor General’s Office, all without his shoes and socks. During this incident, an unauthorized search of his residence was conducted, during which it is confirmed that a computer, laptop, mobile phones, and a video recorder belonging to his family members were confiscated. There is a possibility that other items were also taken, but those seized items have not been returned. Emin Ibrahimov was charged with “supporting terrorism,” and he received an unjustified 30-day administrative arrest sentence. He insists that the sole reason for his arrest was his expression of opinions and criticisms on social media with no indication of support for terrorism whatsoever. It is clear that his arrest is solely based on his opinions and critical stance, as indicated by the official stamp on his arrest documents. Furthermore, he has expressed dissatisfaction with the conditions of his detention and the treatment he has received at the administrative building of the prosecutor’s office.
Ibrahim Khudayi, a satirical poet residing in Salyan, has been apprehended and is presently held at the Kurdakhani detention facility. He is facing allegations related to drug offenses. His arrest is thought to be a result of his outspoken criticisms.
Nurlan Libre, a journalist, endured torture while in detention in the Binagadi district of Baku. Troll accounts and accounts belonging to the government officials media have persistently singled out the journalist on social and recently targeted him. The harshness of the Aliyev regime is widely recognized, and activists and human rights advocates express deep concern for Nurlan. There have been numerous cases of individuals dying under suspicious circumstances in prisons, often labeled as suicides. According to Nurlan Libre’s account, police officers assaulted Karabakh war veterans and confiscated their medals. Activists suspect that this arrest is in direct response to the journalist’s exposure of the veterans’ protest.
The Situation in Karabakh
Following a two-day military operation by Azerbaijan in Nagorno Karabakh, it is reported that approximately 200 Azerbaijani soldiers have lost their lives. However, there have been no official statements confirming the exact number of casualties among the soldiers.
Meanwhile, a significant exodus of Armenians is occurring in Karabakh. Images and videos circulating on social media depict children and elderly individuals being displaced and relocated to Armenia. In a statement, the Nagorno-Karabakh ombudsman’s office reported that a minimum of 200 casualties had occurred, which includes ten verified civilian fatalities, including five children after heavy bombardment of the regional capital of Stepanakert.
Elshad Hajiyev, the Head of the Press Service Department at the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), has announced that in line with the agreement reached on September 20, the safe exit of disarmed and demobilized personnel from the Armenian armed forces will be facilitated from the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, specifically in the direction of Lachin-Khankendi and Kalbajar-Basarkecher. To ensure their passage, a combination of buses and private vehicles will be employed.
Furthermore, according to the official news, the Azerbaijani government has taken the initiative to provide humanitarian aid to the Armenian residents of Karabakh. On September 22, two 20-ton trucks and two cars loaded with bread and various food and hygiene products were dispatched from the Aghdam region. These supplies will be transported via the operational Aghdam-Khankendi road and distributed to the local population. The official statement affirms that this practice of delivering humanitarian food aid will continue in the future.
Azerbaijan has offered the prospect of amnesty to Armenians in Karabakh who voluntarily surrender their weapons. Hikmet Hajiyev, the Assistant to the President of Azerbaijan, conveyed that Azerbaijan is exploring the option of extending amnesty to Karabakh Armenians who willingly surrender their arms. However, this will not be applicable to those who were involved in criminal activities during the First Karabakh War. He further explained that the Azerbaijani authorities will permit members of unauthorized Armenian units who have relinquished their weapons to leave the region. Additionally, Hajiyev noted that some armed groups have expressed their intent to continue resisting.
Reports indicate that the Azerbaijani Army’s presence in Khojaly is connected to the disarmament efforts. It has been suggested that there is an arrangement for the Armenian population in Karabakh to surrender their weapons to the Azerbaijani Army, rather than the Russian peacekeeping forces. In response to those Karabakh Armenians who do not endorse Azerbaijan’s reintegration policy, refugee camps have been established in Gorus, Armenia, with plans underway for their resettlement. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Azerbaijan has noted that individuals of Armenian origin residing in Karabakh have expressed interest in obtaining Azerbaijani citizenship.
According to the decision signed by Prime Minister Ali Asadov the period of the special quarantine regime has been extended in Azerbaijan. Based on the decision, the period of the special quarantine regime in the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan has been extended until January 2, 2024 at 06:00 in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) infection in the country and the consequences it may cause.
September 26, 2023