NAKHCHIVAN RESIDENT SEEKS ASYLUM

February 17th, 2011
A resident of Nakhchivan, Nadir Mamedov applied today to President Ilham Aliyev for asylum in Baku, on the grounds that his life is endangered.

“My life is under threat from the Nakhchivan Minister of Interior, Ahmed Ahmedov. He told me that I would regret it if I didn’t get out of Nakhchivan,” said Mamedov at today’s press conference at the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety.
   
 Mamedov reported that he had been persecuted by the local police, because he had supported an opposition parliamentary candidate, Fayig Aliyev from the Karabakh coalition’s Hope Party.

Local officials put pressure on him to withdraw his support. After the elections, the local traffic police started pulling him over. He is a private truck driver, and so he was forced to stop transporting goods. He began running a private taxi service instead, but the harassment continued.
For example: the traffic police stopped him on February 13 for having a dirty car. “My brother died two days earlier, and I hadn’t had time to wash my car. On the other hand, the lights and license plate were clean; so they had no reason to fine me. I complained to the traffic police,” he said.
He also reported the case to the IRFS correspondents to Nakhchivan.
After this, Mamedov was summoned by the Ministry of the Interior, where the Minister, Ahmed Ahmedov insulted him and physically assaulted him. The minister pinched his fingers with pliers and gave him an ultimatum: either he should get out of Nakhchivan or go and attack human rights activist Elman Abbasov. “Then you will be left alone to live in peace.”
 
“What could I possibly have against Elman? If it were not for him, I could have been killed at the Ministry. I left for Baku the next day. I have nowhere to live here, and I fear for my life back in Nakhchivan. Thus I am forced to apply for asylum in Baku,” said Mamedov.
He also called for the Nakhchivan Internal Affairs Minister and the traffic police to be disciplined.
Mamedov has applied to the Anti-Torture Committee and the Ombudsman.
Today, in the evening hours, Nadir Mammadov informed IRFS that his brother Karam was arrested and set free a few hours later.