The events in the village of Soyudlu and the criminal case against ex-deputy of the Azerbaijani parliament Nazim Beidemirli were raised on September 14 at the plenary session of the 54th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Azerbaijani human rights activist, director of the Institute for Reporeters Freedom and Security (IRFS) Emin Huseynov spoke at the hearings on the problem of access to drinking water.
He said that the peaceful actions of the residents of Soyudlu village were caused by the fact that the Anglo Asian Mining company registered in the UK is engaged in harmful production, poisoning the ecology of the village and creating lakes with harmful chemical waste.
Dozens of residents of the village were subjected to brutal police violence, and their arrests continued after the end of the protests. Former MP Nazim Beidemirli was among those arrested.
He was arrested on politically motivated and fabricated charges for drawing public attention to the catastrophic situation with clean water in Soyudlu village.
“The protests in this village are not an isolated case, dozens of other peaceful protests for the right of access to clean water have been registered in Azerbaijan over the past year, all of them were brutally suppressed,” the human rights activist stressed.
He called on the UN to provide additional protection to environmentalists. “We also call on the Azerbaijani government to immediately and unconditionally release environmental defender Nazim Beidemirli,” Huseynov said.
During the session, he also held a meeting with the UN Special Rapporteur on the protection of the rights of environmentalists Michel Frost, urging him to visit Azerbaijan with an assessment mission, as well as focus on the case of Nazim Beidemirli.
* The IRFS has the status of an advisory partner in the UN.