Journalist Parviz Hashimli is pressured to confess taking money to opposition party leader, says his father

October 19th, 2013

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“The Ministry of National Security (MNS) tries to use my son to discredit others” said arrested journalist’s father Kamran Hashimli at today’s press conference in IRFS’ Azerbaijan Media Center.

The other speakers called the journalist’s arrest politically motivated demanding his immediate release.

Kamran Hashimli said his son is interrogated in an informal way by the MNS. “General told Parviz that his fate is in his own hands. You have taken money to Popular Front Party chairman Ali Karimli several times. Just write what we say and don’t worry, they won’t appear in the press, they’ll be sent only to the president. Parviz swore putting his hand on Holy Quran that he has nothing to do with money or weapon. In reply the general told my son that he’ll be kept in MNS custody as long as he refuses to do what they say” said Hashimli.

Kamran Hashimli severely criticized the authorities, accusing minister of lying to the president. “They want to get someone in trouble and therefore lie to the president. If Parviz ever took money to Karimli, why they did not arrange an operation, arrest him and put the video on TVs? You mustn’t plant weapons on a journalist if you don’t want those weapons hang on your children’s necks” said the father.

Lawyer Elchin Sadigov said no investigation is conducted in journalist’s case. Parviz has not been officially interrogated so far, he will reportedly be questioned today.  “Parviz says until today he was questioned only informally. There is no concept in legal science like informal questioning. They say the same thing is used against Orkhan Zeynalov in Russia, and against Parviz Hashimli in Azerbaijan. Although the pistol allegedly found on the journalist cost 200-300 USD in “black market”, its price is set at 2,000 USD in his case file. The numbers of the pistols are successive. Does it mean that contrabandists buy pistols from an arms plant?” said the lawyer.

Sadigov added that the detention conditions of the journalist do not meet norms. “He is not provided with newspapers that he wants, or not allowed to go for a walk much enough. The place for walk is very small, even the Sun is not visible. He is denied meeting with his family. Although, according to the legislation, there must be a TV set in every cell, there is only one radio receiver in Hashimli’s cell instead, which only catches Lider FM” the lawyer noted.

The lawyer stressed that the court has denied all of their motions, including revocation of detention decision, recognition of the illegality of searches and replacement of the detention sentence with house arrest. The defense is preparing a complaint to the European Court.

Sadigov also reported a threat to the journalist’s life. “They told Parviz that they can get him in such a situation that he would hang himself” he said.

Journalists and human rights defenders attending the conference unanimously agreed that everyone, especially those who are socially active live under danger in the country. They believe that Parviz will soon be recognized as a prisoner of conscience.

Parviz Hashimli’s spouse Ilaha Hashimli said while conducting search in their apartment MNS officers threatened their little daughter pointing a gun at her. “Our kid suffers depression since it happened. She is still in fear despite of a month-long treatment” Mrs. Hashimli said.

BackgroundBizim Yol newspaper journalist and moderator.az editor-in-chief Parviz Hashimli was detained on September 17 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).