19:33On behalf of the Talysh people to interstate and international human rights organizations.
|On behalf of the Talysh people|
to interstate and international human rights organizations.
On 24 of August 2019 Elvin Isaev, an Azerbaijan oppositional blogger of Talysh origin, was arrested in Russia. His Russian passport issued in 2001 was immediately revoked. And on 26 of August Dzerzhinsky Regional Court of St. Petersburg resolved to expel him to Azerbaijan where politically-reasoned prosecutions threatened him. As it appeared later, due to an amazing coincidence a few days prior to this incident, i.e. on 22 of August Nasiminsky regional court of Baku decided to arrest him.
Elvin Isaev informed through his attorney that as a Talysh he may be harassed due to constant suspicion of the authority in separatism of the representatives of this nation. Thus, 27 of February the same year one of the leaders of Talysh National Movement Fahraddin Aboszoda, a Talysh scientist, was illegally deported from Russia. In November 2020 he died in Azerbaijan prison under still unclear circumstances.
Expulsion of E. Isaev from Russia was stopped by the European Court of Human Rights that decided to apply “Rule 39” to him as he may be persecuted in Azerbaijan as an opposition activist and a representative of the discriminated nation.
After being released, Elvin Isaev went to the Ukraine to try to get a visa to Europe, but on 12 of December 2019 he was deported from there to Azerbaijan. A week after his deportation, Ukrainian President V. Zelensky paid an official visit to Baku.
In Azerbaijan V Isaev was accused of committing crimes provided for in Articles 220.2 (calls for actively to disobey the legal requirements of the representatives of the authority and mass riots as well as calls for violence against citizens made by a group of persons by previous concert) and 281.2 (public calls for violent usurpation of the power, forcible retention of the power, or forcible change of the constitutional system or violation of the territorial integrity of the Azerbaijan Republic, and similarly of distribution of materials with such content) of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan.
At the stage of prejudicial inquiry Elvin Isaev was actually deprived of the right to protection. The attorneys hired by the family of E. Isaev were disallowed to meet him personally and he was forced to refuse their help under the pressure of the inquest. Only on 4 of June 2020, in the result of a legal complaint of G. Ibragimov chosen by Elvin was affirmed as his attorney. But even after that, more than once the investigatory power deprived Elvin Isaev of his meetings with his attorney. Besides, Elvin complained of torture and cruel treatment in the pre-trial prison. It is known that there are cases when violence was used against him in detention. More than once E. Isaev was kept excommunication and was deprived of the right to communicate with his relatives in the Talysh language.
On 8 of June, 2020 international human rights organization Amnesty International demanded from official Baku to set Talysh activists Fahraddin Aboszoda and Elvin Isaev free naming their prosecution as politically motivated. Accusations against E. Isaev were called groundless. These politically motivated cases are also specified in 2020 final annual report on human rights in Azerbaijan issued by the USA Department of State and published on 30 of March 2021.
Legal procedure over him started on 21 of September 2020. All accusations were based on evidences of one witness – Elchin Etibar-ogly Sadygov who during the sitting of the court however insisted that he hadn’t affirmed that Elvin made statements against the state (on which, in its turn, the prosecution insisted). He accused E. Isaev only of insulting the President of Azerbaijan. The second evidence of the prosecution was a legal-linguistic expertise carried out by political scientist Sanan Samandar-ogly Gasanov. The author of the expertise mainly carried out a legal characteristic of E. Isaev’s statements and actually exceeded his commission. Besides, employee of the Institute of Linguistic Investigations of the RAS, candidate of philological sciences Svetlana Dmitrievna Levina in her expert opinion pointed out that video materials studied during the law proceedings have no evidence of the call for active disobedience to lawful requirements of public agents.
Nevertheless, on 30 of October 2020 Baku Criminal Court presided over by Afgan Gajiev brought a verdict of Elvin Isaev being guilty of committing a crime provided for in Articles 220.2 and 281.2 CC of Azerbaijan and sentenced him to 8 years of custody.
On 4 of February 2021 Court of Appeal considered E. Isaev’s complaint and left the decision of Baku Criminal Court unchanged.
At the end of March-beginning of April, a legal process over one more Talysh activist - blogger Aslan Gurbanov took place. On 15 of April 2021 he was found guilty of committing crimes provided for in Articles 281.2 and 283.1 (firing interethnic, religious, and social discord) and sentenced to 7 years of custody. Similar to cases of F. Aboszoda, E. Isaev and other Talysh activists the investigatory powers could not gather any weighty evidences of any crimes committed by him, but the court read out its “carbon copy” verdict of “guilty” as a definitive sentence. Death of F. Abiszoda in November 2020 and earlier death of N. Mamedov in August 2009 in Azerbaijan prisons are evidence of threat to health and life of imprisoned Talysh activists.
All these processes are a part of a systematic practice of Azerbaijan authority to suppress and prosecute Talysh activists, intimidate and assimilate Talysh people in whole.
We call upon the international community to force Ilham Aliev’s regime to stop this inhuman, systematic discriminatory practice of prosecution and oppression of Talysh population of the country.
Freedom to Elvin Isaev!
Freedom to Aslan Gurbanov!
Freedom to Talysh people!
President of Talysh-Mugan Autonomous Republic,
Leader of the Talysh National Movement,
The Hague, Kingdom of the Netherlands,
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