Lawyer to push for a next probe into journalist’s torture allegations

June 27th, 2013
Nicat (5)
Journalist Nijat Aliyev’s lawyer, Abil Bayramov asks for a proper investigation into the claims that Aliyev has been subject to torture and ill-treatment in custody. The case hearing of Nijat Aliyev, the chief editor of the news website “Azadeber.org”, in Baku Grave Crimes Court was held on June 27 under the chairmanship of the judge Zeynal Agayev. Journalist’s lawyer Abil Bayramov stated that Aliyev was drawn into medical examination without the participation of his defenders.

“In today’s hearings we pointed it out to the court that our petition about Aliyev having a medical examination for the tortures he suffered while in the police office had been granted in the previous hearing and in that petition we asked to conduct the examination with the participation of his defenders. That petition was fully granted as well. But unfortunately, Nijat was taken to pass the examination in the absence of his attorneys, due to which he refused to undergo the examination. I want to note that the delay of medical examination can lead to disappearance of the signs of torture. We informed the court of this concern, who promised to take an action. In addition, an under-age witness was questioned at today’s hearing without the presence of a legal representative. This is a very serious violation of the law and as the defense we brought it to the attention of the court. We told the court that interrogation of minor witnesses can be carried out with the participation of their legal representatives or educators” the lawyer noted adding that the next hearing will be held on July 4, 10:30am.

Background:  Nijat Aliyev was arrested on 20 May 2012, just a few days before Eurovision Song Contest Finals, on charges of drug possession.

On 26 January 2013 Aliyev faced new charges under three Articles of the Criminal Code: 167.2.2.1 (import, sale and distribution of religious literature, religious items and other informational materials of religious nature with the aim of reproduction, sale and distribution without appropriate authorization), 281.2 (making appeals to violent capture of authority, violent deduction of authority or violent change of constitutional grounds or infringement of territorial integrity of the Azerbaijan Republic, as well as distribution of materials of such contents) and 283.2.3 (incitement of national, racial or religious hostility, humiliation of national honor, as well as discrimination of citizens  based on their national, racial or religious background committed publicly or with use of mass media). His pretrial detention was extended for two months by Nasimi District Court on February 15.