REAL Movement Chairman Suffers Health Problems in Jail

March 22nd, 2017

REAL Movement Chairman Ilgar Mammadov has developed serious health issues. He suffers from acute back and muscle aches. According to Mammadov, it even hurts when he walks or speaks. Publicising this information, REAL Executive Secretary Natig Jafarli said he had a phone conversation with Ilgar Mammadov during which the REAL Chairman made serious health-related complaints.

“Ilgar Mammadov requested an urgent check-up by foreign physicians, and we brought Ilgar’s condition and his request for physicians to the attention of the Red Cross and other relevant organisations,” Natig Jafarli said.

Background: REAL Movement Chairman Ilgar Mammadov was arrested together with Musavat Party Deputy Chairman, journalist Tofig Yagublu on 4 February 2013, in the wake of the protests that swept Azerbaijan’s north-western city Ismayilli on 23 January 2013 and resulted in the arson of the Chirag Hotel and 4 cars in the city. The protests broke out after the Chirag Hotel employee, Baku resident Emil Shamsaddinov caused a road accident due to drunk driving, after which he and his passenger, Baku resident Elmaddin Mammadov beat up and injured the Ismayilli resident Ramil Bakirov who was nearby, and insulted the local residents before the very eyes of the crowd, who had gathered in the area of incident. More than 15 people, who had participated in the protests, as well as Emil Shamsaddinov and Elmaddin Mammadov, were later arrested. Tofig Yagublu and Ilgar Mammadov travelled to Ismayilli one day after the protests, on 24 January, in their capacity as a political figure and a journalist, to get firsthand information from locals about what had happened.

Mammadov and Yagublu were initially charged under Articles 233 (organisation of actions promoting infringement of the public order or active participation in such actions) and 315 (resistance to a representative of authority) of the Criminal Code. Later, the former of the charges was re-classified to Article 220.1 (organisation of mass disorders accompanied by violence, pillage, arson or destruction of property or participation in such disorders). By Shaki Grave Crimes Court’s judgment of 17 March 2014, Ilgar Mammadov was sentenced to 7 years and Tofig Yagublu to 5 years in jail. The appeal against the verdict was not granted by Saki Appeal Court. On 13 October 2015, Supreme Court sent their case back to Shaki Appeal Court for reconsideration. Shaki Appeal Court upheld the verdict by its decision of 29 April 2016. Journalist Tofig Yagublu was eventually released under the president’s pardon decree of 17 March 2016.

On 22 May 2014, European Court recognised violation of Ilgar Mammadov’s rights under Articles 5.1 and 5.4 (right to liberty), 6.2 (presumption of innocence) and 18 (limitation on the use of restrictions on rights) of the European Convention on Human Rights.