Barbed wire at high security facility. Photo by Nina Tumanova for the Caucasian Knot

20 May 2019, 21:49

Relatives report pressure on Azerbaijani activist in colony

Babek Gasanov, a member of the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA), was subjected to inhuman treatment in the colony, his brother has stated today. In its turn, the country's Penitentiary Service treated the actions of the colony staff as legitimate.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on February 27, 2019, the court found five PFPA activists guilty of money laundering. Babek Gasanov, the head of the Narimanov district branch of the PFPA, was sentenced to 3 years in prison.

Djavid Gasanli, Babek's brother, told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent that there was no physical pressure on Babek Gasanov in the colony, where he serves his prison term, but there were threats of using violence. "Babek said that immediately upon his arrival at the colony, he was placed into the dungeon (punishment cell) for four hours. Against my brother's will, they began to cut his hair despite the fact that he arrived from the SIZO (pre-trial prison) with a haircut that is allowed for prisoners. Babek objected at first, but after threats allowed to cup his hair," said Gasanli.

He has added that his brother was "completely stripped and forced to stand, holding his hands behind his head." "In this posture, he was forced to squat. When he wanted to refuse, [one of law enforcers] again threatened him," Djavid Gasanli said.

According to his story, after talking with the colony boss, Babek Gasanov was taken to an unfinished building, where he was forced to carry stone blocks from one place to another and back. "He was told that each prisoner should carry four blocks. Babek told them that he had problems with his backbone, as he was a Category II invalid of the Karabakh War. However, he was again threatened with beatings," Djavid Gasanli said.

Ali Kerimli, the PFPA leader, has treated the actions against Babek Gasanov as "inhuman and degrading treatment."

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on May 20, 2019 at 04:24 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Faik Medzhid; Source: CK correspondent

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