12 December 2005, 01:55
The Report of the Institute of Peace and Democracy on the Facts of Police Violence and Brutality against Women and Girls
No free and democratic presidential, parliamentary or municipal election has been held in Azerbaijan since the collapse of the Soviet Union. All the elections have been falsified: this punishable crime was carried out by the force of the heads and members of the election committees, including the Central Electoral Committee, the heads of the executive power and police. The protests of the citizens to those falsifications were cruelly suppressed (using eye-gas, water-jets, dogs, batons and guns) by police, internal military forces and special troops, which had been trained especially for that purpose. There were also women, children and elders among the victims of the police violence. People have become invalids: lost their eye sight, backbones, chests and ribs were hurt. After the presidential election 2003, one death case was officially fixed. But, none of the authorities or officials of the Ministry of Internal Affaires was punished. Post-election repressions are usually followed by numerous arrests of the representatives of the protesters, who have been arrested unjustifiably.
In the current report we focused exclusively at the women and girls, who have become the victims of the violence and brutality. We have chosen just several of the numerous victims characteristic for the parliamentary elections 2000 and 2005, as well as the presidential election 2003.
Parliamentary election 2000
The protest of the population of Sheki, a city in Northern part of Azerbaijan, was suppressed particularly. The peaceful protest demonstration in Sheki in 2000 with a demand to conduct new fear and free elections was cruelly broken up by police and forces using fire-guns. 350 residents of Sheki, including women, were arrested during the following fortnight by police. All of the arrested people were exposed to beats and tortures. At the result of these actions several people became invalids.
It is Pashayeva Kulkhar Shaban Kizi, who was born in 1934, on the photos # 1, 2, and 3. In these photos you can see the signs of brutal beats of the 66 years old woman. K.Pashayeva was beaten and tortured at the police department of Sheki city. Lieutenant Gamlet Sadigov, the head of the department, was promoted in his office in 2002.
The district court of Sheki did not accept the plaintiff of K. Phashayeva against the head of the police dept -G. Sadigov and his subordinate. At the Supreme Court her sue was again rejected and she was sent to district court. The General Procurator also refused to take the matter to the court. It is impossible in Azerbaijan to conduct fair medical control and to get the medical conclusion of the experts without the inquiry of the procurator. Surely, in the case of Pashayeva and other tormented people, the procurator did not present inquiries.
Presidential election 2003
On October 16 several thousands of people gathered in Azadlig meydani, the central square of Baku, in order to protest the mass falsifications at the presidential election on October 15, 2003. The force of police, internal troops and illegal teams was used against the demonstrators. Not only demonstrators, but also passer-bys were beaten with batons on their head, stomach and they were crippled.
On the photo # 4, you can see Muradova Mahira, a Baku resident who was born in 1949, with both of her eyes. The photo # 5 was taken on November 4, 2004 and on this photo you can see that accidental passer-by the Azadlig Square on October 16, 2003 lost her eye.
In June 2004 M.Muradova applied to the Nesimi District Court with a sue against the Republic of Azerbaijan. She applied to court in order to receive financial reimbursement for her treatment.
But, the Nesimi District Court, Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of the Azerbaijan Republic rejected her appeal. In 2005 M.Muradova applied to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. At the moment she is waiting for the consideration by the CE.
The organizers of the October 16 operations (where at least one person – "Musavat" member Zakhidov Gamidaga, 52, was beaten almost to death, 2 young persons dyed after the tortures and hundreds of people were injured) were Ramil Usubov, the minister of Internal Affaires, Maharram Aliyev, the head of the police dept of Baku and Yashar Aliyev, his deputy. None of them has been punished. The head of the department of the Organized Crimes Vilayet Eyvazov, who took part at the torturing of the oppositionists, was promoted and he was appointed the first deputy of the minister of Internal Affaires.
Parliamentary election 2005
After the total falsification of the election results on November 6, 2005, the voters, whose votes were stolen, went to streets of the Capital and provincial cities, demanding annulling of the falsification. On November 26, 2005 the police attacked the peaceful demonstrators 10 minutes earlier than the scheduled end time, allowed by the city authorities. The peaceful demonstrators and opposition leaders expressed their wills to continue the rally and sat on the ground. Without any warning, the police forces attacked the square, where thousands of peaceful demonstrators, including children and women, gathered.
The force of police, internal troops and special teams was used against unarmed women, children, students and elders. They were beaten with batons and poisoned with gas. On the photos # 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 you can see the pictures of the women and girls, who were beaten by the law enforcement bodies of Azerbaijan.
At the moment comprehensive information on the casualties is being gathered. Samaya Hadjiyeva, 68, is still at hospital (photo #9). Peri Gasimzade, 45, was taken to hospital, with his collarbone and chest hurt and brain concussion. Hundreds of women and girls were exposed to the same injures. The leg, collarbone and hand of 7 years old Leyla Aliyeva (photo #7) were hurt. The little girl can not sleep at nights during last weeks.
The November 26 operations were led by Yashar Aiyev, deputy head of the Baku city police dept, and Zakir Gasanov, the head of the internal troops. It is doubtless that these operations were organized by R. Usubov, minster of Internal Affaires, and M. Aliyev, the head of the police dept of Baku.
I address to you -Mister:
Vladimir Putin, the president of Russian Federation and
George Bush, the president of the USA
How can you -Christians, persons, who were given birth by women, and at the same time the persons, who are bringing up daughters, justify your support of the Aliyev regime, which cripples my sisters and daughters?
I address to you Mr. Racap Erdogan, Turkish Premier, as an elder brother. How can you turn blind eye to the blood and tortures of the innocent people?
Look at the faces of these women! They had not committed any crime or violence. They only tried to enjoy their constitutional rights. I can not look into the eyes of my namesake Leyla, 7, who was crippled. I can not stop my tears dropping and squeeze my hands.
I have no question to Ilham Aliyev or the authorities, whose names were mentioned above. How can I give a question to criminals, whose place must be defendant bench?
Baku streets on November 26, 2005
Dr. Leyla Yunus
Director of the Institute of Peace and Democracy
7 December 2005, Baku, Azerbaijan
The report of the Institute of Peace and Democracy is supported by the International Coalition for Human Rights, comprising:
- Dr. Leyla Yunus (Сhairwoman)
Institute of Peace and Democracy,
- Ms. Natalya Estemirova
Human Rights Centre "Memorial",
- Ms. Vera Tkachenko
Penal Reform International,
- Ms. Nozima Kamalova
Legal Aid Society of Uzbekistan,
- Ms. Tolekhan Ismailova
- Human Rights Centre "Citizens against Corruption",
- Ms. Oksana Chelisheva
Society of Russian-Chechen Friendship,
- Ms. Elena Mashkova
Womens Association, Tatarstan
- Ms. Natalya Estemirova
Source: Institute of Peace and Democracy (Azerbaijan)