LAWYER VISITS NAKHCHIVAN TO LOOK INTO CHARGES AGAINST ACTIVISTS

August 18th, 2011
Lawyer, human rights defender, and “Democracy and Human Rights Resource Center” Public Union chairman Asabali Mustafayev returned to Baku from his two-day visit to Nakhchivan last night.

The lawyer familiarized himself with the case materials of two cases: the criminal charges opened against IRFS correspondent to Nakhchivan Hekimeldostu Mehdiyev by the Sharur Regional Prosecutor’s Office, under Article 189-1 of the Criminal Code (diverting natural gas or electricity), and the criminal case launched against  APFP Nakhchivan  Branch Head Yashar Bagirsoy and his brother Zeynal Bagirsoy by the Babek District Police department under article 233 (organizing protests breaking social rules and active involvement in those actions) of the criminal case.
Elman Abbasov, IRFS Nakhchivan correspondent, reported that the lawyer came to Nakhchivan at the invitation of IRFS, Nakhchivan Resource Center for Democracy and NGOs Development in order to support the defendants. Mustafayev visited Sharur and took photos of the scene.
Then the lawyer visited Sharur Regional Prosecutor’s Office together with Mehdiyev, and met with prosecutor Kamil Shukurov and investigator Sanan Pashayev. He was shown the case materials. After seeing the documents and evidence, the lawyer expressed his professional opinion:
“This is a fabricated case.  I regret that I am so late in getting involved. If we had intervened in time, a lot of things could have be prevented, including the launch of the criminal case. Nonetheless, we will file motions in the court and try to reach a positive settlement,” said lawyer.
Then Mustafayev visited Nehram village in the Babak region to meet with Yashar Bagirsoy and Zeynalabdin Bagirzadeh. He also visited Babak District Police Office, met with police chief Javid Gasimov and the investigator of the case. He was shown the case materials.
Because there is an ongoing investigation on the case against brothers, Mustafayev did not speak in detail about the charges.
Mustafayev and local human rights defenders held discussions on how to prevent this kind of thing happening in the future. They decided to sign an agreement – between Sumgayit Democracy and Human Rights Resource Center and Democracy and NGOs` Development Resource Center in NAR – and to create a mobile group of lawyers.  They also decided to organize frequent visits to Nakhchivan.
During the visit, the lawyer Mustafayev was accompanied by local human rights defenders, Elman Abbasov, Hakimeldostu Mehdiyev, Malahət Nasibova and Ilgar Nasibov. The visit was supported by IRFS.
BACKGROUND
Earlier in the summer, on July 13th, the Sharur District Executive Power Deputy Head Aladdin Mammadov arrived at Mehdiyev’s house, behaved aggressively towards him and cut off the power supply to the small car-washing station in his driveway. He was again assaulted on July 15 with regard to the same issue. The electricity wires and telephone poles supplying power to his house and car-washing station were removed. Since then, Mehdiyev has been without power. Elman Abbasov and Ilgar Nasibov arrived at the scene to investigate the incident. Police assaulted them and prevented them from filming. The journalists have appealed to Prosecutor’s office of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. Shortly thereafter, without any evidence, a criminal case was launched against Mehdiyev in Sharur Regional Prosecutor’s Office under Article 189-1 of the Criminal Code (diverting natural gas or electricity).
Nehram Resistance Movement was planning to hold a protest on July 27th in Nehram village (in the Babek region), against high water prices, which were endangering the poor. They were planning to demand the resignation of the head of the Nehram Water Consumers’ Union Jamshid Hasanov and the election of a new chairman. A few hours prior to the rally, Jamshid Hasanov and his brother Jalal Hasnaov attacked protesters and assaulted Yashar Bagirsoy and his brother Zeynal Bagirzade in front of the executive and municipality head of the village. They insulted the other protesters too. Deeming it as a provocation, the protesters did not resist the assailants.
The victims went to the Babek District Prosecutor’s Office where they were turned down and told to go to the police. When the protesters assembled before the police office, Yasar Bagirsoy and Zeynal Bagirzade were invited to the police office. However, they were detained by the police, beaten and subjected to psychological harassment.