Khadija Ismayil Comments on Political Developments as Prison Authorities Restrict Communication with Lawyers

 On January 8, lawyers Fariz Namazli and Yalchin Imanov met with investigative journalist Khadija Ismayil in Prison #4, reported Namazli.


Namazli quoted the journalist as saying that addressing human rights and political prisoners should be laid down as a condition in the upcoming meeting between Ilham Aliyev and Barack Obama in Washington, DC.


“Doesn’t it seem ironic to the international community that such serious discussions as nuclear security are attended by a president like Ilham Aliyev, with his appalling human rights record, totally irrational domestic policy, and unreliable commitments to international organizations? I understand that the invitation had been extended before the Helsinki Commission hearings. However, the fact that the executive structures of the United States are so behind the legislative body on the issue of human rights is ridiculous,” said Khadija Ismayil.


Commenting on the arrest of Nardaran Elders’ Council Chairman Natig Karimov, Khadija Ismayil said the charges brought against Karimov are ridiculous, and the allegations on his relationship with Iranian intelligence services or religious authorities sound like nonsense. 


Fariz Namazli added that the lawyers had struggled to gain access to their client in prison.


“We had to wait in front of the prison building for almost 2 hours. The prison authorities said that the meeting permission letter that we had obtained from the Penitentiary Service in mid-December 2015 had expired, and that we needed to obtain a new letter for 2016. We said that there was no such requirement or provision in the legislation. Finally, after considerable time, during which they probably contacted the Penitentiary Service, we received permission for the meeting. However, they did not allow us to bring in the documents related to the communication on the complaint that we have submitted to the European Court regarding Khadija Ismayil’s illegal arrest. They told us that the documents needed to be translated from English into Azerbaijani so that the prison leadership could look at them before permission could be granted. This is a violation of the law and I consider it an impediment to the right to an effective defense,” said Namazli. 


He added that they would take legal measures regarding these attempts to hinder access and the effectiveness of the defense. 

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