03 September 2018, 15:58
Azerbaijani rights defenders report about 128 political prisoners
On September 1, a group of Azerbaijani rights defenders, NGO activists, and lawyers released an updated list of political prisoners, which included 128 names. Activists monitor the cases against other two prisoners.
The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that the earlier version of the list was released in March. The document included the names of 142 political prisoners.
The list divides political prisoners into 10 groups. The group "journalists/bloggers" includes nine people, in particular, blogger Mekhman Guseinov and journalist Afghan Mukhtarly. The group "poets" includes satirist Tafiq Gasanli. The category of "rights defenders" mentions Aliabbas Rustamov. The group "political and social activists" enlists 17 people. The largest group "religious activists" includes 68 names.
According to rights defender Rasul Jafarov, 22 people out of the previous list are released.
Members of the working group believe that in fact, the number of political prisoners is much higher than the list reports.
"The repressive environment forces many prisoners and their relatives to refrain from making their cases public," noted Samir Kazymly, a coordinator of the Alliance for the Protection of Political Freedoms.
The activist has also added that from the late 2017, the lawyers in cooperation with the Working Group began to be subjected to strong pressure.
The Azerbaijani authorities deny the existence of political prisoners in the country.
Author: Faik Medjid; Source: CK correspondent