Journalist Fikrat Faramazoglu Meets with His Family behind Glass Partition

On 16 February, website director, arrested journalist Fikrat Faramazoglu’s wife Faiga Nusrati informed the public about her husband’s health problems and prohibitions he has been facing in his place of detention.

At a press conference held together with human rights defenders and lawyers, Nusrati said Faramazoglu is not given an opportunity to receive treatment for the consequences of the tortures inflicted on him during the 34 days of his detention in the custody of the Main Organised Crime Department (MOCD). Despite the pressing need, the journalist is not transferred to the treatment facility. “They do not even deliver the medicines, which I take there, to him. He takes painkillers,” Nusrati said.

According to the journalist’s wife, Faramazoglu is held in an 8-person room and is only allowed a telephone-assisted meeting with his children behind a glass partition, which has adverse psychological effects on the children.

Journalist’s lawyer Elchin Sadigov noted that Fikrat Faramazoglu’s right of defence was violated during the arrest, and he was ‘subjected to torture’. A complaint on some of these facts has been submitted to the European Court of Human Rights.

Sadigov says the journalist’s trial is needlessly delayed, and despite the proceedings being launched back in November 2016, so far only three victims have been questioned. The lawyer called the pattern of scheduling court hearings for times close to the end of the business day a red-tape. He further assessed the journalist’s arrest as a ‘violation of the freedom of expression’, as he believed that the journalist was prosecuted due to his articles.

Civil Society Platform member, website director Avaz Zeynalli commented that the blocking of access to Fikrat Faramazoglu’s website was a ‘violation of the freedom of speech and interference with online space’.

Head of the Public Alliance ‘Azerbaijan without Political Prisoners’ Ogtay Gulaliyev said the journalist had been illegally detained in MOCD custody and had cuffs on his hands for 12 days.

Faiga Nusrati added that the journalist had had two of his teeth knocked out and that had restarted operating with another domain name.

Background: Fikrat Faramazoglu was arrested on 30 June 2016. He is charged under Article 182 (extortion) of the Criminal Code. On 2 July 2016, Narimanov District Court ordered his pre-trial detention.

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