A video recording about #14 Prison, where imprisoned "Azadlig" newspaper satiric/journalist Sakit Zahidov is being kept, was broadcast in ANS TV on 17 February.
The video recording was about conditions in the prison and about the prison life of the detainees. During the program Prison Chief Arshad Hasanov assessed the activity of the prison positively, but added that there's no industrial work to do.
But according to the records the Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety has, enough torture and other unpleasant incidents happened in this prison.
We contacted "Nota Bene" newspaper's writer Faramaz Allahverdiyev who was kept in the Prison #14 for almost a year. Allahverdiyev said, "Prison #14 is the worst prison, and it has the highest torture records in Azerbaijan. I witnessed eight people pass away as a result of torture while I was kept there. I am also ready to reveal their names." F. Allahverdiyev also emphasized that a Julfa resident by name Ali was deprived of medical treatment, although he had a card stating that he needed urgent care, and he was forced into working to his death.
Faramaz Allahverdiyev added, "Arshad Huseynov used to be the chief of a prison for juveniles. At that facility, prisoners rebelled one day to protest against the torture they were subjected too, and eight people died as a result of this rebellion." According to the journalist, after this incident Hasanov was dismissed from his job as punishment, but with the help of a high-ranking government official he was appointed as the head of Prison #14.
*IRFS has repeatedly appealed to the Head of Penitentiary System of the Justice Ministry and to the Public Committee for Supervision of Penitentiary Service within the Ministry of Justice to get permission to meet with Sakit Zahidov, to interview him and to take his pictures. All of these appeals have received negative responses or gone without a response.
IRFS continuously called this prison to get information about Sakit Zahidov. With the exclusion of one or two cases, both Arshad Hasanov and the person on-duty have refused to answer our requests. They always say, "This prison is a closed facility and we are not entitled to provide you with any information, etc.."