|To Members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE)
Council of Europe
16 January 2017
We are writing with a view to the criminal case against the former Vice President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Mr. Luca Volonte, who is being investigated by the Milan public prosecutor’s office for allegedly accepting €2.39m in bribes from two members of PACE, Mr. Elkhan Suleymanov and Mr. Muslim Mammadov, in exchange for his efforts to thwart the 2013 critical resolution on political prisoners in Azerbaijan.
We urge you to immediately expel the two members of the Azerbaijani delegation accused of bribing other members (Elkhan Suleymanov and Muslim Mammadov), pending a full investigation. Furthermore, we urge you to suspend the voting rights of the entire Azerbaijani delegation, which we believe were completely aware of the bribery but failed to take a single step to stop it. » » » »
The abduction, detention and ill-treatment of award-winning Azerbaijani human rights activist and blogger Mehman Huseynov is further proof of the government’s zero tolerance for free expression, said the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS) today. IRFS condemns the appalling torture of Mehman Huseynov and calls on the government to guarantee the safety of journalists in Azerbaijan.
“We resolutely condemn this act of violence against Mehman Huseynov”, said IRFS CEO Emin Huseynov. “We have no doubt that this despicable act, inspired by the complete impunity for violence against journalists and media workers, has been ordered by top officials in Azerbaijani ruling establishment”.
Azerbaijani journalist and human rights defender Mehman Huseynov was pushed into a vehicle in downtown Baku at 7.54 pm local time on Monday. Huseynov’s family and colleagues reported the incident to local police at 9.00 pm local time that night. The report was filed and accepted by local police officers.
Azerbaijani authorities held Huseynov restricted from outside contact for 19 hours without access to a lawyer or his family. The authorities failed to provide accurate information on the whereabouts of the journalist between the time of his abduction at around 7.54 pm on Monday, until 3.00 pm today when he was brought to a Baku court, where a judge ruled that he had disobeyed police and fined him 200 manats (approximately 112 euros). » » » »
Azerbaijani journalist and human rights defender Mehman Huseynov has gone missing and is believed to have been abducted by the unknown assailants in the heart of Baku, the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS) reported today. The IRFS calls for his immediate release and for anyone with information on his whereabouts to come forward.
Huseynov was reported being pushed into a vehicle between Gogol and Hazi Aslanov street in the heart of Baku at around 7.54 pm local time Monday, leading IRFS to believe he was possibly being abducted.
Huseynov’s family and colleagues reported the incident to local police. » » » »
Rahim Hajiyev, first deputy editor-in-chief of Azadliq newspaper, has been interrogated by the Serious Crimes Investigation Department of the Prosecutor General’s Office for the second time, as reported by Hajiyev himself on 29 December.
Hajiyev was questioned by investigator Anar Damirchiyev. “For one hour, I answered the investigator’s questions regarding the case of Azadliq newspaper’s finance director Faig Amirli, and the activity of Azadliq newspaper,” the deputy editor said.
Rahim Hajiyev was released after the interrogation. » » » »
Summary: Hearing 2
- • Mammad Ibrahim’s lawyer pleaded with the court to grant the appeal;
• During his speech, prison official Tajaddin Masimov said Mammad Ibrahim’s release was unadvisable;
• The judicial panel decided not to satisfy the appeal.
On 29 December, Baku Appeal Court chaired by Judge Sahibkhan Mirzayev held a hearing on the appellate complaint of Mammad Ibrahim, jailed advisor to opposition party APFP’s chairman Ali Karimli who having served one-third of his jail sentence sought his transfer to an open prison. » » » »
Close to a dozen people were arrested during the December 22nd protest against power cut held by IDPs from Jabrayil region settled in Bilasuvar, detainees Jalal Guliyev’s and Zaur Feyruzlu’s lawyer Elchin Sadigov said on December 28.
According to the lawyer, his clients currently are in Kurdakhani detention centre. “We have not been able to meet so far. But I filed a complaint against the detention of both men on December 27, and it is expected to be considered by Shirvan Appeal Court,” the lawyer noted. » » » »
Summary: Hearing 12
- • Defendant Oktay Rustamov refuted witness Jafar Namazov’s testimony.
On 28 December, Baku Grave Crimes Court chaired by Judge Afgan Hajiyev held a hearing on the criminal case of the former senior officials of the Ministry of Communications and High Technologies. The trial continued with witness testimonies.
Witness Ramil Guliyev said he engaged in construction and repair work at Azerpost LLC. He said 35 percent of the funds allocated for construction work by the Ministry of Communications and High Technologies had been returned back. » » » »