10 January 2019, 11:29
Azerbaijan: arrested oppositionist Gasanov goes on hunger strike at SIZO
The Baku court has dismissed the complaint of Azad Gasanov, an activist of the "Musavat" Party, about the refusal to transfer him to house arrest. Then, Gasanov went on a hunger strike, claiming solidarity with the blogger Mekhman Guseinov and violation of his rights at the SIZO (pre-trial prison).
The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that Azad Gasanov, a political emigrant, was arrested on October 12, 2018, after he returned to Azerbaijan from Lithuania. He is accused of drug dealing. Gasanov himself asserts that he has confessed under threat of torture.
On December 26, the blogger Mekhman Guseinov, convicted on defamation charges, went on a hunger strike in the colony in protest against a new criminal case initiated against him. On January 8, his father visited him at the SIZO and expressed his concern about his son's health condition.
On January 9, the hunger strike under the slogan "Freedom to Mekhman Guseinov and other political prisoners!" which started on January 7 in the office of the "Musavat" Party, was continued on by seven persons.
According to Tofig Yagublu, an oppositionist, every day hundreds of people express their support for the hunger-strikers. The authorities failed to react to the protest action, but the hunger-strikers had not hoped for any reaction from them, he has noted.
"The main point is that we are drawing public attention to political prisoners' cases in Azerbaijan and outrageous injustice against Mekhman," Mr Yagublu has stated.