The National Council of Democratic Forces (NCDF) of Azerbaijan issued a statement demanding from the authorities the release of the political prisoner Saleh Rustamov (Rustamli), who has been on hunger strike for 24 days, demanding his release. The NCDF believes that he was convicted on trumped-up and politically motivated charges. The NCDF blames the country’s leadership for the threat to Rustamov’s life.
The authors of the document indicate that Rustamov was a participant in the first Karabakh war and played an important role in the operations to protect Azerbaijani lands. The Azerbaijani authorities, showing humanism towards the Armenian military, torment the war veteran in the dungeons.
The authors call on the international community and the people of Azerbaijan to raise their voice in defense of Rustamov and demand that the government of Azerbaijan release him.
Today the Musavat party also demanded the release of Rustamov. “The hunger strike of the political prisoner Saleh Rustamov endangered his health and life. Musavat considers the arrest of Saleh Rustamov illegal and demands his immediate release,” the statement said.
In a statement, the Liberal Party expressed concern about the condition of Rustamov as a result of a prolonged hunger strike. “The Liberal Party of Azerbaijan is extremely concerned about the threat to Rustamov’s life and calls on the authorities to show humanism, to release him from prison in order to save his life,” reads the party’s statement.
The Civil Solidarity Party believes that in accordance with the reform of the legal system announced by the President of Azerbaijan, Rustamov may be released after serving more than half of the term.
“We believe that the authorities will not remain indifferent to the fate of the Karabakh war veteran, whose life is in danger,” the party’s statement said.
Today the Norwegian Helsinki Committee reiterated its call for the release of Rustamov.
In the statement of the organization, published on the facebook page, the words of the son of Rustamov are previously quoted: “My father is slowly being killed before our very eyes.”
According to the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, “the Azerbaijani authorities will not act if there is no constant attention, both in Azerbaijan and abroad, to the shocking injustice of the Rustamli case.”
“We appeal to all our supporters, national governments and international organizations to call for the immediate release of Rustamli and the provision of urgent medical care by independent doctors of his choice to save his life,” the statement said.