Talekh Bagirzade. Photo: press service of Radio Free Libero Liberty https://www.rferl.org/

28 January 2019, 18:30

"Muslim Unity" claims torture of its supporters in Azerbaijani jails

Talekh Bagirzade, the leader of the "Muslim Unity" Movement (MUM), and others convicts under the "Nardaran case", are exposed to "unprecedented pressure" in prison, Mr Bagirzade's supporters announced on January 27. The Azerbaijani Penitentiary Service has denied this information.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on January 25, 2017, Talekh Bagirzade and 17 his supporters were sentenced to imprisonment for the terms ranging from 10 to 20 years. The defendants, who claimed being tortured, refused to plead guilty. On December 28, 2017, other 12 MUM supporters, including Elchin Gasymov, the deputy chairman of the movement, were sentenced to prison terms of 12-15 years.

On January 27 this year, in the WhatsApp, the MUM spread a statement that Talekh Bagirzade and other convicted members of the movement's board had recently faced "unprecedented pressure." "They've put a convict into Talekh Bagirzade's cell, who had previously tried to set fire to a former cellmate in bed," says the statement as translated by the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

Other MUM activists, in particular, Abbas Guseinov and Djabbar Djabbarov, are verbally and physically abused, deprived of "elementary rights", and when they try to protest, they are "tortured and placed into dungeon (punishment cell)," says the statement.

If the pressure on the MUM leader and board members persists, they will go on an endless hunger strike in jails, the MUM has added.

Meanwhile, Mekhman Sadygov, the head of the public relations division of the Penitentiary Service, denied the information on inmates' torture. "Any torture, inhuman treatment and prejudice towards prisoners are out of question," he told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on January 28, 2019 at 02:45 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Faik Medzhid Source: CK correspondent

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