Sevinj Vagifgyzy reported threats to female detainees in pre-trial detention center

Sevinj Vagifgyzy, editor-in-chief of “Abzas Media”, who is detained in Baku SIZO-1 (pre-trial detention center) reported to her mother on the phone that she had witnessed how guards threatened two female detainees and then put them in a punishment cell.

According to Vagifgyzy, the detainees were handcuffed in the punishment cell for three hours. The journalist specified that this was done on the orders of the deputy head of the pre-trial detention center. Moreover, a warden named Mahir threatened the girls that if they complained about the SIZO staff, they would be dragged by their hair.  At this point, the telephone connection broke down.

Ofelia Magerramova, the journalist’s mother, fears that her daughter may also be subjected to pressures because of the publicity about the facts of violence against prisoners in the pre-trial detention center.

However, the Penitentiary Service has denied the statement about the two detainees’ confinement in a punishment cell and mistreatment. “The women detained in the Baku SIZO have not been put in a punishment cell for violating the rules of the regime, not only in recent days, but for the last year in general. The personal safety of detainees is ensured in the Baku SIZO, their legal rights and interests are protected. The staff does not exert pressure on them, nor does it allow torture or inhuman treatment. Such facts were not revealed during the sudden monitoring by local and international human rights organisations,’ the agency said in its commentary.
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