HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS WANT TUBERCULOSIS PATIENT MUSHFIG HUSEYNOV TO BE FREED

December 1st, 2009
The health of “Bizim yol” newspaper employee Mushfig Huseynov, who is being treated in the Penitentiary Service’s Specialized Treatment Facility for Tuberculosis Patients, remains serious.

The Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety was told this by Mushfig Huseynov’s brother Server Huseynov. According to him, today, 1 December, Mushfig Huseynov called his family and expressed his opinion about the article published in Bizim yol newspaper that was related to his health. In the article Human Rights Defender Leyla Yunus stated that Mushfig Huseynov should be released due to his health. However, the Penitentiary Services stated that Mushfig Huseynov’s health is normal and he is being treated. Mushfig Huseynov strongly expressed his disagreement with the stance of the Penitentiary Services after he read the article.  

“Mushfig said that the Penitentiary Service’s intention is to kill him,” said S.Huseynov. “Mushfig said he knows that after several days of treatment there is usually positive effects resulting from the treatment. In Mushfig’s case, his treatment, which has been going on for about two months, has not yet yielded any positive effects. Mushfig added that despite his persistent insistence, they do not want to change the course of his treatment. Mushfig requests that an external independent expert or an expert from a foreign country be invited to examine him in the treatment facility. Mushfig specifically stressed that three people died after he was transferred to the facility.”  

Server Huseynov added that on Sunday, 29 November, he visited Mushfig Huseynov. Although Mushfig did not complain about the attitude of the treatment facility’s staff towards him, he stressed that he was appointed the wrong treatment course – the standard treatment they use for everyone.  

“There is nothing new that is positive towards Mushfig’s situation,” emphasized S.Huseynov. “His TB did not stop developing. On the other hand, the result of the analysis will be available in mid December to find out whether Mushfig’s TB is drug resistant or curable. Only after this will they determine the right treatment. Mushfiq`s temperature has never been normal during these two months of treatment – it has never been lower than 38 degrees Celsius. This increases the chances that his tuberculosis has already become chronic. As it was previously, Mushfig suffers from weakness, lack of appetite and fatigue. He keeps losing weight.”

Human Rights Defender Novella Jafaroglu told IRFS that the monitoring group discussed the issue regarding Mushfig Huseynov: “We are very concerned about Mushfig Huseynov`s health and we are trying to meet with the Minister of Justice to achieve Mushfig’s release.”

Azerbaijan Committee against Torture Chairman Elchin Behbudov said that he appealed to the President to pardon Mushfig Huseynov and will visit Mushfig Huseynov in the coming days.

Mushfig Huseynov was convicted under Article 311.1 (receiving of a bribe) of the Criminal Code in July, 2007 and on 21 January 2008 was sentenced by Grave Crimes Court Judge Jamal Ramazanov to 6 years of imprisonment. However, this sentence was reduced to 5 years through a decision adopted by the Appellate Court. M.Huseynov, who suffers from tuberculosis, was transferred from prison #2 to the Penitentiary Services Specialized Treatment Facility for Tuberculosis prisoners on 14 October.

“Bizim yol” newspaper has been published since 2003 and operates as daily newspaper.