On December 13 the Sabail District Court denied journalist Parviz Hashimli’s lawsuit over claims of torture and persistent refusal to transfer him from the detention cell of the Ministry of National Security (MNS) to the Interior Ministry’s detention center. “I am tortured” Hashimli cried out while being to the court handcuffed. The police did not let his friends and journalists to come near to him.
According to the journalist’s lawyer Elchin Sadigov, the note pad in which he had made notes about the tortures Parviz Hashimli was subjected to was taken from him, he was not allowed to bring it to the court. As a sign of protest, the lawyer left the court hearing. Parviz also protested against it, by turning his back on the judge. The journalist was moved to another room for this action. The hearing continued without the defendant and his attorney’s presence.
The lawyer added that Hashimli’s main complaints are about torture and detention conditions. He even attempted suicide due to physical and psychological pressures.
The Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety immediately phoned the Ombudsman’s Office, asking for investigation of the matter. Head of the Department for Prevention of Torture under Ombudsman’s Office Vugar Maharramov said that the chief of the MNS detention center denied the report about torture and suicide attempt in a phone conversation with him.
Background: Bizim Yol newspaper journalist and moderator.az editor-in-chief Parviz Hashimli was detained on September 17th by employees of the Ministry of National Security. On September 18 the journalist was handed down a two-month pretrial detention sentence by the Sabail District Court under two articles of the Azerbaijani Criminal Code: Article 206.3.2 (smuggling of firearms on preliminary arrangement by an organized group) and 228.2.1 (illegal obtaining, storing, carrying firearms and their spare parts on preliminary arrangement by an organized group). His detention term was extended for another three months on November 7.
Hashimli rejects the charges and has declared that they are related his journalistic and human rights activities.