Police detain participants of protest rally in Baku, February 16, 2020. Photo by Aziz Karimov for the Caucasian Knot

31 March 2020, 14:22

Rights defenders count 140 political prisoners in Azerbaijan

The human rights Union "For Freedom of Political Prisoners of Azerbaijan" has included 140 persons into the updated list of political prisoners, including five journalists, seven political activists and 54 believers.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on November 6, 2019, the above Union issued an updated list of political prisoners, which included 135 persons.

The updated list was released by the Union on March 30. The authors of the 58-page study based their assessment on the criteria for the notion of "political prisoner" as established by PACE (Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe).

A new group on the list is formed by eight convicts under the "Terter case". "In May 2017, there were mass arrests among the militaries who took their service in the territory of the Terter District, as well as among local citizens. It was reported that they had been engaged in espionage in favour of Armenia," Leila Yunus, Director of the Institute for Peace and Democracy (IPD), told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

According to her story, the investigation was carried out with gross violations of the procedural norms.

"All the detainees were brutally tortured. In 2018, trials were held behind closed doors; and, according to some reports, about a hundred people were convicted. Since the trials were closed, and some relatives are still afraid to complain to human rights organizations and media, it was not possible to collect materials on all the convicts. We have the verdicts and parents' applications in only one group of eight convicts," Ms Yunus has stated.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on March 31, 2020 at 10:16 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Faik Medzhid; Source: CK correspondent

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