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Stealing news from Azerbaijan.
APFP’s bureaucrat Tazakhan Miralamli, who was trying to bring food for his son. The deputy chief of Jalilabad police station hit and verbally abused Miralamli, then proceeding to arrest him.
Tazakhan Miralamli, chairman of APFP’s Jalilabad division, has been subjected to physical pressure and threatened. This took place on the morning of 3 July. Deputy chief of the station Eldar Safarov hit Tazakhan Miralamli, verbally abused him, and started to prepare to arrest him on charges of “showing restraing to the police”.
This is according to information given to Azadliq newspaper by Mr Miralamli himself.
Tazakhan Miralamli came to the police station in order to bring some food for his son Vasif Miralamli, who was arrested this April. Vasif Miralamov was taken to Jalilabad police station from Baku a few days ago, in order to take his testimony. When Tazakhan Miralamli arrived there, he was treated badly. He was not allowed to visit his son and the products he brought were not accepted. Later, the deputy chief of the police station Eldar Safarov started an argument with Tazakhan Miralamli and hit him.
In order to cover up the violence, Mr Safarov started the process of arresting Tazakhan Miralamli. The deputy chief, who knew that Miralamli would politicize and publicize the issue and make a complaint, created a false statement saying that the APFP bureaucrat showed restraint to police. He was kept at the police station for this “reason”.
Miralamli is currently being held at Jalilabad police station. After he informed Azadliq about the events, it was not possible to contact him. His mobile phone was probably confiscated from him at the police station.
The Azerbaijan Popular Front Party, which Mr Miralamli represents, says that local civil rights defenders have been informed about the situation. International organizations will be addressed to defend Miralamli.
Tazakhan Miralamli was also one of the protesters severly beaten during the 2 April protests.
Original in Azeri here [Azadliq]
Azeri police making an arrest at an opposition protest in the center of Baku, 2 April. Photo credits: HUMBATOVA/REUTERS. © STR New / Reuters/REUTERS
Determined to preserve the “Azeri model”, autocrat Ilham Aliyev harshly represses the protests which have multiplied under the influence of the Arab spring.
With his angelic face and his chic outfit, Eldar Gasimov became Azerbaijan’s idol overnight. Along with his partner Nigar Jamal, the young man won Eurovision 2011 on 14 May, inflating the whole country with pride. Since then, the two lovebirds have been scouring the trendy bars of Baku, taking advantage of their sudden and unexpected fame. He is a multilingual international relations student; she is married to a businessman and lives in London. A modern and cosmopolitan showcase of Azerbaijan, a land full of oil which smiles at foreign investors and is in search of respectability on an international level. The picture would have been almost perfect if, in this Muslim majority republic ruled by enlightened autocrat Ilham Aliyev, the wind of Arab revolutions had not started to blow. The last descendant of the Aliyev dynasty (his father was head of the KGB in soviet Azerbaijan before becoming leader of its communist party) has been in power for 8 years and follows every movement of protest. Within a few weeks, several demonstrations have been suppressed and their leaders sent to prison. “The opposition has become a kind of business. It is run by people who do not support our country in carrying out an independent policy and asserting its European values,” laments Samad Seyidov, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in Parliament. A list of the threatening neighbors of Azerbaijan: Russia, the former tutelary power, to the north, nuclear Iran to the south, unstable Central Asia to the east, Turkey to the west, but most importantly Armenia, accused of illegally occupying Nagorno Karabakh through its “omnipotent” diaspora. Willing to go to war, the public opinion is also pushing the Azeri government to regain by force the territory it lost after a war in 1994.
Fortunately, thanks to the equivalent of one million barrels of oil pumped out of its soil each day, Azerbaijan has indebted countries. The country, which already ships its crude oil to the Mediterranean through the BTC pipeline, is also expected to become a hub of the Nabucco pipeline project, sponsored by Europe. Placed in a sovereign wealth fund, oil revenues – $30 billion expected in late 2011 – fund infrastructure and Azeri foreign exchanges students. who, once they return home, drive along the seashore in 4×4 cars. Meanwhile President Ilham Aliyev, whose fathers photographs have their special place in many streets of Baku, is accused of drifting into a monarchy. “The human rights situation is only getting worse,” says Idrak Abassov, one of the most active opposition journalists, who partly gets his resources from the intelligentsia. The regime, moralized by Europe, has recently made some concessions. Nevertheless it remains committed to preserving the “Azeri model.”
Original in French – Le Figaro
Javid Mehraliyev, 3rd year History student at Baku State University, has told AzadliqRadiosu (RFE/RL Azeri service) that he has been excluded from the university.
The official reason behind his exclusion is his continuous absence from classes, but he says that it is because of his participation at opposition rallies: “I was given the order today, but it is dated 5 April. I was in class on the 5th. If I was absent on 5 April, they would have written that in the journal. They wrote that I was absent on the 5th only today. According to University rules, when you miss 100 hours of class an official warning has to be given. I never received such a warning, they just started these scare tactics as soon as I was released from prison. Then the dean comes up to me and tells me that I’ve missed 158 hours of class. I said, but you’re supposed to give me a warning when it reaches 100 hours. He told me to stay out of their business. Even though the order was signed on the 5th, they have noted me as absent on 6, 7, 8 and 11 April as well. How does that work?”
Parvana Ibrahimova, head of the press office at Baku State University, told AzadliqRadiosu that J. Merhaliyev missed 132 hours of class in the 2009-2010 academic year but was allowed to stay on the course. Having missed 158 hours this year, he had to be excluded.
J. Merhaliyev is a member of Classic Popular Front Party, which is a member of the Public Chamber. The police detained him during the 2 April protest and sentenced him to three days in prison.
He says he will go to court for the protection of his rights.
Director of studies: “We followed the Education Ministry’s instructions.”
Six-year-old Sevinj Ahmadova, daughter of Ibrahim Ahmadzade – member of Ictimai Palata (“Public Chamber”) – has been excluded from school. In an interview with “Demokrat” newspaper on 7 April, Irahim Ahmadzade’s wife Gulnara Ahmadova says that her daughter was excluded from school on the day her husband was arrested – 31 March.
Ibrahim Ahmadzade was detained on 31 March; Sumgait Court sentenced him to 7 days administrative detention.
Gulara Ahmadova says that before her husband’s arrest, there were no problems with Sevinj Ahmadova wearing a hijab: “The primary reason for our daughter being excluded is Ibrahim actively taking part in Musavat Party’s protest in Baku on 12 March. He was called to the police station several times in order to stop him from taking part in the protest on 2 April. Then they arrested him without even informing us, and excluded my daughter from school. Sevinj went to school with a headscarf on before Ibrahim’s arrest and nobody said anything. As soon as Ibrahim was active in protests against the government, the headscarf became a problem.”
Since the 2 April protest took place, Azerbaijani TV stations have incessantly been showing reports about the events. Reports that in no way reflect reality, but reports nonetheless. They show “ordinary citizens” (who are, in fact, members of pro-government ‘NGO’s) making statements about how wrong it is for Azeris abroad to call for protests, how un-Azeri, unpatriotic it is, and that we should all sit down and cry about Karabakh instead.
We see bandaged policemen in hospital beds, speaking with uncharacteristically fragile voices and pitiful faces, making generic statements about injuries and struggling to remember anything. Like scenes from a bad high school play.
Here is RFE/RL’s report about what the poor injured policemen had to say:
[Original in Azeri]
“They were shouting, beat the police! Hit the police! They had pieces of metal in their hands. They were out of control, attacking us.” Afat Nabiyev, sergeant of Nasimi district post patrol detachment, says he was injured during the 2 April protest organized by Ictimai Palata (Public Chamber, a coalition of opposition parties).
The sergeant refuses to consider that those who injured him were groups of saboteurs:
“No, no! There were even well-known people, you know, people we repeatedly see at these protests. They were at the head of this. Personally I have seen the person who hit me in the newspapers. I knew him. He was instructing people – beat the police, beat the public.”
Afat Nabiyev describes the person who attacked him: “He was bald, not too short, but not tall, normal [the interviewee says this and takes a deep breath – like a student who is having problems reciting the text he memorized]. They had broken glass, rocks in their hands. Metal pipes. They broke people’s shop windows, cars, with whatever they could get their hands on.”
A little later, Afat Nabiyev says that the person who attacked him was Arif Hajili, head of Musavat Party executive body. But he says this name laughing, so it is hard to tell whether he is joking or serious. The sergeant also does not know whether the person who beat him has been arrested or not.
Arif Hajili’s lawyer Asabali Mustafayev says that the policeman’s words are “inadmissible accusations”. According to him if Afat Nabiyev has any evidence, it should have been shown when Hajili was being arrested. Mustafayev adds that there was also no mention of this when Arif Hajili was being questioned in court. But Asabali Mustafayev does not rule out that his client could face more accusations:
“Arif Hajili was not part of the organizing bodies the protest. So it is ridiculous to accuse him of organizing it. Perhaps they want to change the charges.”
We ask the police sergeant Afat Nabiyev: “So how is it that the policemen are able to immediately catch all these protesters that were peacefully chanting slogans, but not those who attack the police or order people to attack them? How is it that this person was able to escape this encirclement of police?” The answer: “Nobody escaped us out of the people we detained. There was a big crowd. We couldn’t fight them all. It was a bit difficult.”
Afat Nabiyev recalls what happened: “I was injured during the unrest on the 2nd [of April]. They kicked me in my back, I was on the floor. Right next to the Conservatory, near the park. Where the crowd was gathering. That’s where they kicked me. My back was hurt. I fell to the ground. Seeing this, my coworkers took me away. When I woke up, I saw that I’m in the emergency room. My back was hurt, I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t feel my legs.”
Elshan Nuriyev, operations representative of Nasimi district 22nd police station, says:
“On the 2nd, while I was on duty, someone at Fountain Square suddenly attacked us. As they attacked they shouted, the police have to be attacked, they have to be beaten. We were injured as a result of their attack, I mean a few policemen. And I was one of them.”
The police major cannot tell what he was hit on the head with: “It was a crowd. They had pieces of metal wrapped in newspaper in their hands. With a rock… They hit me on the head with something. But I can’t tell what with, exactly.”
Elshan Nuriyev also excludes any possibility that the attackers were saboteurs:
“It was an unsanctioned rally. There couldn’t be sabotage there.”
Sergeant Majid Yusifov, who is being treated in hospital, has an almost identical story: “There were about 30-40 of them, in front of “Nizami” theater. We were trying to stop it. As we entered the crowd, they hit us with something from behind. I didn’t even know what. When I woke up I was already at the hospital. My head was injured, I’ve had six stitches. I’ve been in resuscitation for three days now.”
On 2 April, 24 policemen went to the hospital at the Ministry of Internal Affairs. 13 of them were hospitalized. Head of the traumatology department at the hospital Vitaly Maharramov told Azadliq Radiosu (RFE/RL Azeri service) that two of them were in a serious condition and were taken into resuscitation and that the patients are now in satisfactory condition.
Head of the Azerbaijan Committee Against Torture Elchin Behbudov says that he followed the proceedings on 2 April along with his coworkers – at Nizami street, Fountain Square, and near the Jafar Jabbarli monument.
He says that during the monitoring, he only saw one policeman with injuries to the head, but did not see who injured the policeman.
Deputy head of Musavat Party Mehman Javadoghlu says that no calls were made on people to attack policemen or show resistance to them.
According to information given by Ictimai Palata, there were also plenty of protesters who were inured: Tofig Yagublu, Musafa Hajili, Ahad Mammadli, Tazakhan Miralamli, Tural Abbasli, Khalig Bahadir, Yashar Turkazar, Ramin Bakhish and others. A full list has not been prepared yet. But some of this information was registered at the temporary detention center.