15 August 2019, 22:09
Azerbaijani authorities admit Ikram Ragimov's hunger strike
The Azerbaijani Penitentiary Service has confirmed that the journalist, Ikram Ragimov is on a hunger strike. At the same time, a source from the Service has noted that Ragimov has no problems with his health. However, his relatives state his exhaustion.
The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on June 12, a court in Baku found Ikram Ragimov, the editor-in-chief of the "Realliq.info" website, guilty of extortion, and sentenced him to 5.5 years in prison. The verdict was appealed against; and the Baku Court of Appeal (BCA) appointed the consideration of the complaint on the merits for August 21. Ragimov, who went on a hunger strike on August 7, demands an objective review of his appeal at the BCA.
The case against Ragimov was opened on citizens' complaints, the Azerbaijani State Security Service (SSS) asserts. He was accused of extortion by blackmail. Ragimov himself has stated that special services began spying on him after the publication of his letter criticizing Ali Gasanov, the president's assistant for socio-political issues. On December 6, 2018, the Union for the Freedom of Political Prisoners of Azerbaijan put Ragimov on the list of political prisoners.
Galib Gasanov, a Ragimov's cousin, told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent that Ikram has called today and said that he was continuing his hunger strike.
"Yesterday, at the end of the working day, we visited the SIZO (pre-trial prison). Its head received us and created the conditions for us to meet Ikram. He was brought directly to the head's office, but he was unable to walk on his own – they were holding under his arms. His face was yellow-white. Ikram spoke in a low, hoarse voice. We urged him to stop his hunger strike. But he was adamant and said that he would either achieve an objective trial and his release, or he would hunger strike to death," said Gasanov.
When asked whether Ragimov was on a dry hunger strike, or he was drinking water, Gasanov replied like this: "Ikram said that he is on a dry hunger strike."
On August 15, the Public Relations division of the Penitentiary Service confirmed to the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent that Ragimov was on a hunger strike. However, according to the Service source, Ragimov is not on a dry hunger strike, he drinks water.
"He was transferred to the medical-sanitary unit of the SIZO; he is under doctors' supervision. Currently, he has no health problems," said the source.
This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on August 15, 2019 at 07:22 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.
Author: Faik Medzhid; Source: CK correspondent