THE INTERNATIONAL SECRETARIAT OF THE WORLD ORGANIZATION AGAINST TORTURE RELEASES STATEMENT ABOUT EMIN HUSEYNOV

June 18th, 2008

The International Secretariat of the World Organisation Against Torture disseminated a statement about Emin Huseynov. We present the statement in its entirety.

Case AZE 170608
Ill-treatment/ Risk of impunity

The International Secretariat of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in Azerbaijan.

Brief description of the situation

The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by a reliable source and Antenna International, member organisation of OMCT SOS-Torture network, that Mr. Emin Huseynov, director of the Institute for Reporter Freedom and Safety (IRFS), was subjected to severe beatings during his detention on 14 June 2008 in Baku.

According to the information received, on 14 June 2008 at around 01:00pm, Mr. Emin Huseynov was participating, along with other members of the Ernesto Che Guevara fan club including researchers at IRFS, Mr. Rasim Aliyev and Mr. Mirrehim Hasanov, in a peaceful celebration of the 80th anniversary of the Cuban revolutionist Ernesto Che Guevara, taking place at a café, when police raided the event. Approximately 20 individuals, including Mr. Emin Huseynov, Mr. Rasim Aliyev and Mr. Mirrehim Hasanov, were arrested and allegedly beaten by the police, reportedly headed by two individuals in plainclothes, and then taken to the Nasimi District Police Department n°22, Baku district. No reasons were reportedly given for the arrest, except that those arrested did not have any IDs with them.

At the District Police Department, police reportedly started photographing and fingerprinting the arrested individuals, without giving any explanation. When Mr. Emin Huseynov protested, he was reportedly taken into the office of Chief Deputy of Police Department, Major Azer Kerim-Zade, and allegedly severely beaten. He reportedly lost consciousness once brought out of the room. While the others arrested individuals urged to call an ambulance, the police reportedly ignored the request. Mr. Emin Huseynov was only provided with medical assistance after the police released him at around 4:45pm. He was then brought by his colleagues to the hospital where he is currently still hospitalised. According to the doctors, he sustained head and brain trauma.

All the other arrested individuals, including Mr. Rasim Aliyev and Mr. Mirrehim Hasanov, were reportedly released around 08:00pm on the same day.

The International Secretariat of OMCT expresses its deep concern about the arbitrary arrest and severe beatings of Mr. Emin Huseynov, as well as of the arbitrary arrest of the other individuals. OMCT calls on the authorities to order a thorough, independent and impartial investigation into this event in order to identify those responsible, bring them to trial and apply the penal and/or administrative sanctions as provided by law. Furthermore, OMCT recalls that Azerbaijan is a State party to the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which both prohibit cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. OMCT also recalls to Azerbaijan that according to article 9 1) of the ICCPR “no one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention”.

Action requested

Please write to the authorities in Azerbaijan urging them to:

i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Emin Huseynov, Mr. Rasim Aliyev and Mr. Mirrehim Hasanov;
ii. Order a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation into this event in order to identify those responsible, bring them to trial and apply the penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions as provided by law;
iii. Guarantee adequate reparation to the victims;
iv. Guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms throughout the country in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards.

Addresses
•    Mr. Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Office of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, 19 Istiqlaliyyat St., Baku AZ1066, Azerbaijan, Fax: +994 12 492 06 25, +994 412 92 28 68, E-mail:
office@apparat.gov.az, president@gov.az, root@lider.baku.az
•    Prosecutor’s Office, 7 Nigar Rafibeyli St., Baku, Azerbaijan, Fax: +994 12 492 06 82, +994 12 492 26 63, E-mail: prosec@azeri.com
•    Minister of Internal Affairs of the Azerbaijani Republic, Lt.-Gen. Ramil Usubov, Fax: + 994 12 492 45 90
•    Permanent Mission of Azerbaijan, Rue de Lausanne 67, CH-1202, Genève, Suisse, e-mail : az.mission.unog@iprolink.ch, fax: +4122 901 18 44
•    Minister of Justice in Azerbaijan, Prospekt Stroitelej, 1 Baku Azerbaijan, e-mail: contact@justice.gov.az , Tel (99412) 430 01 16, Fax (99412) 430 09 81
•    Azerbaijani Embassy in Brussels, Avenue Moliere, 464, 1050 Brussels, Belgium, Tel: +32 2 345 26 60, Fax: +32 2 345 91 85
Please also write to the embassies of Azerbaijan in your respective country.

Geneva, 17 June 2008

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.