09 June 2021, 08:43

Azerbaijani rights defenders criticize release of policeman Gusev

The release from custody in Russia of the traffic police inspector, Alexander Gusev, who shot the Azerbaijani Vekil Abdullaev dead near Novosibirsk while trying to detain him, speaks of the law enforcers' disregard for the rule of law, the Azerbaijani rights defenders interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot" believe.

The “Caucasian Knot” has reported that on May 28, not far from Novosibirsk, Alexander Gusev, an inspector of the road-and-patrol service (known as DPS), accidentally shot dead 19-year-old Azerbaijani Vekil Abdullaev while trying to detain him. Meanwhile, the police inspector who killed Vekil Abdullaev was set free.

On June 5, an appeal to President Putin under the heading “Punish the killer of Vekil Abdullaev” was posted on Change.org, a platform for online petitions. On the fourth day, by 4:12 p.m. Moscow time on June 8, the petition gained 2932 signatures.

"His release from custody has caused indignation and bewilderment ... We had to wait for the end of the inquiry and the court's decision. All this time, the accused of committing the murder had to remain in custody," Namizad Safarov, the coordinator of the Azerbaijani Committee against Torture and Repressions, told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

The use of firearm has become "an unjustified measure against a person suspected of committing an insignificant administrative offense," Mr Safarov has stated. "The video footage shows that the young man did not even resist the police. The policeman, perhaps through his negligence, or due to mishandling the firearm, shot the guy dead. In any case, he used excessive force and committed a crime out of negligence," he said.

Law enforcers' arbitrariness is typical for all states with anti-democratic regimes; and Russia is no exception in this sense, said Emin Guseinov, the executive director of the Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety (IRFS).

"The release of the policeman Gusev ... is a blatant fact of arbitrariness and lawlessness. The justification of his actions in Russian media and by some pro-government activists, and calls for his encouragement look xenophobic. And this despite the fact that the casualty was a citizen of Russia, albeit an ethnic Azeri," Mr Guseinov told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on June 8, 2021 at 11:35 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Faik Medzhid; Source: CK correspondent

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