August 31st, 2011
On August 24, a resident of the Arazin village in the Julfa district of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic (NAR), Turac Zeynalov, born in 1980, was summoned to the Ministry of National Security of the autonomous republic and never returned.

On August 25 the man’s parents, wife and brother arrived at MNS, demanding an explanation. Receiving no answer, the relatives appealed to local journalists and human rights activists.

That is what Turac’s brother, Isa Zeynalov, told IRFS:  “My brother was summoned to MNS on August 24, but they did not explain why. Since then, we did not see him. The next day we arrived and demanded a meeting with him. Then he was shown to my father and his wife with a bag on his head. He had been so badly beaten that he was not able to move.”

Turan’s father, Shuriya Zeynalov, said: “We were told that he had committed a high treason and worked for Iran. I demanded a proof and said that my son was not able to do all this. He was beaten so badly to make him sign a confession, but my son was not broken. That’s why they killed him.”

The brother of the deceased, Isa, also said that Turac’s body was secretly removed by ambulance to the morgue of the Central Hospital and then (in the evening of August 28) to his native village, without informing his relatives. According to the victim’s relatives, Turac Zeynalov’s body was badly bruised. His head was disfigured especially strongly.

The family has received no papers or medical findings about the causes of his death. All the appeals and complaints to the authorities have remained unanswered.

The man’s parents wonder what could be classified as their son’s “work for Iran”. The victim worked as a technical worker at the local airport.

However, in addition to Turac Zeynalov, four other residents of Nakhchivan were called to MNS, and their fate is unknown.

During the conversation with the Zeynalov family the journalists faced pressure on the part of MNS workers. In particular, the MNS staff tried to take away their camera and voice recorder. An MNS employee Raphael Assad insulted Turan’s correspondent, Malahat Nasibova, accusing her of collaboration with “enemies of the nation".

   Some time later, the MNS workers demanded that Nasibova should visit their department, but the journalist refused.

The local human rights activists have expressed grave concern with the situation and the fate of the other four arrested youths. The Nakhchivan MNS refuses to issue any comment. There are no independent lawyers in Nakhchivan, and the local authorities do not give accounts to anyone.

Repressions against members of the Zeynalov family may continue and they could be even placed to a mental hospital, which is a favorite method of local security officers and police against human rights activists.

The journalists’ attempts to get comments from Azerbaijan’s MNS or the Interior Ministry have resulted in the statement that “it is Nakhchivan, and Baku cannot interfere in their affairs.”