14:52European Court of Human Rights;United Nations Human Rights Council;Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe; APPEAL
|To: European Court of Human Rights; |
United Nations Human Rights Council;
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe;
International human rights organizations and persons concerned
Copy to: Supreme Court of Azerbaijan
On 27 February 2019, Fakhraddin Aboszoda (Abbasov), a Talysh scholar and journalist and the Chairman of the Parliament of the Talysh-Mughan Autonomous Republic, was illegally extradited by Russian law enforcement authorities into hands of security services of the Republic of Azerbaijan after staying for half a year in a pre-trial detention facility near Moscow. After an eight-month detention in Baku, the investigators took the case to court.
We are totally convinced that, as was the case with previous criminal proceedings against Talysh scholars and journalists Novruzali Mamedov and Hilal Mamedov, the investigators will provide the court with absurd as well as fabricated “evidence” in support of the accused’s guilt. For example, in the case against N. Mamedov, the investigators stated that the accused’s guilt was “Novruzali Mamedov’s appeal to international organisations (UN, OSCE, etc.) regarding the violation of rights of national minorities”, “the appeal to the Public Television with the purpose of launching a program in the Talyshi language”, “the registration in the Ministry of Justice of the Talysh Cultural Centre and the newspaper “Tolyshi Sado”, “cooperation with foreign researchers and production of scientific papers based on intelligence data obtained in locations with dense Talysh community”, etc. In this sense, Fakhraddin Aboszoda’s guilt is immense: he is the author of three Russian-Talyshi, two Talyshi-Turkic and one English-Talyshi dictionaries, as well as the only grammar reference book of the Talyshi language as of now. In addition, on separate occasions, he was the editor-in-chief of three Talysh newspapers: “Tolyshi Sado” (Novruzali Mamedov and Hilal Mamedov who were previously put under arrest were also editors of this newspaper), “Tolysh” and “Shavnysht”.
We tend to believe that the authorities will attempt to conduct a maximally secretive trial against Fakhraddin Aboszoda (Abbasov). They will not risk organizing an open court with media having the access to meetings, as they are afraid of public outcry and the absence of any evidence base from the prosecution. For the entire period of pre-trial investigative measures, they subjected Fakhraddin Aboszoda (Abbasov) to complete isolation, did not allow any communication with his supporters or ordinary Talysh activists, limited his right to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, which contradicts official obligations undertaken by Baku in relation to the Council of Europe. Therefore, the court, at which Fakhraddin Aboszoda (Abbasov) will be able to appeal to his people and his supporters and disclose information about the true nature of the eight-month investigation or the fabrication of the criminal case against him, is seen by the Azerbaijani authorities as dangerous.
We are sure that the authorities will resort to their signature move to discharge lawsuits against their main opponents — they will say that there are issues related to state secrets in the case, which is really absurd: Fakhraddin Aboszoda (Abbasov) lived outside Azerbaijan since 2008, never had access to state secrets and did not have any relations with official representatives of this country. In his case, there can be no state secret.
We insist on the compliance with the obligations undertaken under international conventions and agreements (in particular, the European Convention on Human Rights) and the conduct of a public, fair and impartial trial of the charges against Fakhraddin Aboszoda (Abbasov).
We are fully aware that Azerbaijan has no independent judiciary system, and not a single acquittal has been passed on political cases in the country. But we are also completely convinced that an independent court, if any is to be arranged, could easily qualify the persecution of Fakhraddin Aboszoda (Abbasov) as unreasonable and immediately release him.
Alakram Hummatov ,
President of the Talysh-Mughan Autonomous Republic,
Chairman of the Talysh National Movement.
Prime-minister of the Talysh-Mughan Autonomous Republic's refugee government,
Chairman of the Human Rights Committee.
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