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Azerbaijan: Sentencing of Human Rights Defender Mr Ilham Amiraslanov to Two Years Imprisonment
Leter by William Gomes Salem-News.com
Authorities in Azerbaijan should immediately quash the conviction of human rights defender Ilham Amiraslanov and effect his immediate and unconditional release
Human rights defender
Mr Ilham Amiraslanov
(SALEM) - It seems you never know which country will be the next to offensively strike against a human rights defender. Mr. William Gomes, our Human Rights Ambassador, names too many countries in these consistent reports.
Azerbaijan is just the latest, two days ago it was Peru, tomorrow it will be another place. These unregulated and unlawful governments have been getting away with murder in so many cases for far, far too long.
The crimes go unpunished and those who raise the flag and call foul on state terrorism practices like unlawfully detaining citizens, enforced disappearances, Murder and torture are daily problems of the largest matter of importance.
Ilham Amiraslanov wrote a letter three months ago to the Prosecutor General in Azerbaijan, asking him to investigate illegal police activities, including the planting of a weapon on him and the planting of ammunition at his home.
In that letter, Mr Amiraslanov described in precise detail how he was beaten on the head, particularly around the eyes and mouth, and kicked by different police officers and verbally humiliated while in detention. When does it end? When will countries stop bringing such shame upon their existence?
President Ilham Aliyev
Office of the President
Istiklal küç. 19
I am William Nicholas Gomes, Human Rights Ambassador for Salem-News.com.
I am came to know about the situation from Front Line Defenders.
On 12 September 2012, human rights defender Mr Ilham Amiraslanov was sentenced to two years imprisonment by Sabirabad District Court. Ilham Amiraslanov is an active member of Kura Civil Union and is involved in the ongoing protests against corruption and inefficiency in the delivering of assistance to victims of the flooding of the Kura River in May 2010 in Azerbaijan.
On 12 September, Ilham Amiraslanov was convicted and sentenced to two years imprisonment for unauthorised possession of firearms and ammunition under Article 228.1 of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan. According to reports, the judge refused to hear the defence witnesses and did not allow the journalists present to enter the courtroom. Ilham Amiraslanov’s lawyer believes that neither the investigation nor the trial were conducted objectively, that numerous human rights violations were committed during the arrest of the human rights defender and that the case was politically motivated. The lawyer announced that they would appeal the court decision.
Ilham Amiraslanov was arrested on 8 June 2012 near the village of Esgerbeyli in the region of Sabirabad by police officials from the Department for Combating Organised Crime (DCOC) of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The police officers pulled an opaque bag over his head and took him to an unknown location, which he could later identify as the Olympic Complex in Sabirabad. The human rights defender was subjected to torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment while in detention, including being beaten on the head and face.
On 18 June, Ilham Amiraslanov wrote a letter to the Prosecutor General asking him to investigate the illegal activities of the police, including the planting of a weapon on him and the planting of ammunition at his home. In the letter he described in detail how he was beaten on the head, particularly around the eyes and mouth, and kicked by different police officers and verbally humiliated while in detention.
I am seriously concerned by the sentencing of Ilham Amiraslanov, and believe that it is directly related to his peaceful and legitimate activities in the defence of human rights. In light of the reported ill-treatment of Ilham Amiraslanov in detention, I express concern for his physical and psychological integrity.
I urge the authorities in Azerbaijan to:
1. Immediately quash the conviction of human rights defender Ilham Amiraslanov and effect his immediate and unconditional release, as I believe that he has been convicted solely as a result of his legitimate and peaceful human rights work;
2. Carry out an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation into the arrest and detention of Ilham Amiraslanov and the allegations that he was subjected to torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment whilst in detention, with a view to publishing the results and bringing those responsible to justice in accordance with international standards;
3. Take all necessary measures to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity and security of Ilham Amiraslanov while in detention;
4. Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in Azerbaijan are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment.
William Nicholas Gomes
Human Rights Ambassador for Salem-News.com
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Salem-News.com Human Rights Ambassador William Nicholas Gomes is a Bangladeshi journalist, human rights activist and author was born on 25 December, 1985 in Dhaka. As an investigative journalist he wrote widely for leading European and Asian media outlets.
He is also active in advocating for free and independent media and journalists’ rights, and is part of the free media movement, Global Independent Media Center – an activist media network for the creation of radical, accurate, and passionate telling of the truth. He worked for Italian news agency Asianews.it from year 2009 to 2011, on that time he was accredited as a free lance journalist by the press information department of Bangladesh. During this time he has reported a notable numbers of reports for the news agency which were translated into Chinese and Italian and quoted by notable number of new outlets all over the world.He, ideologically, identifies himself deeply attached with anarchism. His political views are often characterized as “leftist” or “left-wing,” and he has described himself as an individualist anarchist.
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