Nasimi District Court, under judge Babek Panahov, postponed the hearing of the complaint filed by the Chairman of the Muslim Union Movement Taleh Bagirzade. In his complaint, Bagirzade stated that he had been subjected to torture while in custody; was denied a meeting with his lawyer, was kept in the custody of the Interior Ministry’s Main Organized Crime Department (MOCD) for more than 24 hours; and that his rights under the Law on Ensuring the Rights and Liberties of Persons Held in Places of Detention had been violated. Taleh Bagirzade was arrested in a police operation in the Nardaran settlement of Baku on November 26, 2015.
According to the Prosecutor General’s Office, 58 people have been arrested in connection with the Nardaran events. The Serious Crimes Investigation Department under the Prosecutor General’s Office has launched a criminal case. Those detained have been charged under articles 120 (deliberate homicide), 214 (terrorism), 220 (mass disorder), 228 (illegal acquisition, transfer, sale, storage, transportation or carrying of firearms, their accessories, ammunition and explosives), 233 (organization of actions promoting infringement of public order or active participation in such actions), 278 (violent seizure or maintenance of power), 283 (inciting national, racial, social or religious enmity) and 315 (resistance or violence against a representative of authority) of the Criminal Code.
Defense lawyer Javad Javadov said that Nasimi District Court was supposed to continue the closed hearing regarding his client’s complaint on February 9, at 16.00. However, the judge said that the court had not received responses to inquiries sent to relevant agencies in regard to the case. “The judge said that it was impossible to make an objective decision on this case, because the inquiries have not received a response. Therefore, the hearing was postponed until February 19.”
The lawyer added that the torture complaint should be addressed without delay. In his view, the willingness of the court to delay an investigation into these serious allegations already casts doubt on the objectivity of the process. “Any allegation of torture should be investigated immediately, before the physical evidence has a chance to disappear, and a forensic medical examination should be arranged. But, none of these steps have been taken. Under these conditions, fair trial is out of the question.”
Background: An armed incident occurred between a group of Muslims and policemen in the Nardaran settlement of Baku on November 26, 2015, during a police operation. According to official reports, the shootout resulted in six fatalities, including two police officers. Taleh Bagirzade, the leader of the Muslim Union Movement, and several others were detained as part of the operation. A criminal case has been launched and is being investigated by the Prosecutor General’s Office of Azerbaijan Republic.