TODAY.AZ / Politics

Full letter of HRH and NHC to Azerbaijani President condemning the brutal use of violence in Baku

02 December 2005 [12:00] - TODAY.AZ
The Human Rights House Foundation and the Norwegian Helsinki Committee ask Azerbaijani authorities to initiate an immediate and impartial investigation of the violent outcome of the demonstration Saturday the 26th of November. In a letter sent to the Azerbaijani President today the organisations strongly condemn the brutal use of police violence against demonstrators.

The Human Rights House Foundation and the Norwegian Helsinki Committee strongly condemn the brutal use of police violence against demonstrators Saturday 26th of November 2005.

Hundreds of police forces used water cannons, tear gas and truncheons against peaceful citizens to disperse the protest action at the Qabala Square. Police beat and detained hundreds of demonstrators.  Among the beaten demonstrators were also women and children. 63 people have been seriously injured as a consequence of the police action. At least 12 journalists working for various news media were attacked as they were photographing the police dispersing protesters. The action against the demonstrators was totally disproportionate.

According to reliable sources 22 people were detained and have received 2-10 days in custody by court decision. These are:  Faig Muradov, Efraz Agayev, Ibrahim Ibrahimov, Afet Rzayev, Zaur Muradov, Rafig Babayev, Nureddin Gozelov, Shamil Nesirov, Babek Hasanov, Avaz Temurkhan, Habil Imanov, Sedulla Eyvazov, Alizahid Karimov, Ilham Karimov, Mirze Tagiyev, Ibrahim Mehdiyev, Azer Semedov,Samid Khalilov, Tezekhan Abishov, Bedel Abbasov, Elvin Musatafayev, Yashar Turkazer. Several activists have also been fined for participating in the protests. Criminal cases have officially been launched also against Gakhraman Mamedov and Alim Karimov.

According to information from the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan five members of the opposition are still missing. These are Ali Kerimov, Mazair Mehdiyev, Afraz Agayev, Ibrahim Ibrahimov and Vafa Abbasov.

The freedom of peaceful assembly is guaranteed not only in the European Convention of Human Rights (Art 11) and the UN Covenant of Civic and Political Rights (Art 21), but also by the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Despite the repeated assurances made by the Government, this freedom is still not respected in Azerbaijan as opposition forces repeatedly encounter unreasonable limitations on their gatherings.  The Norwegian Helsinki Committee and the Human Rights House Foundation also regret that police forces in Azerbaijan fail to make distinctions between peaceful gatherings and violent revolt.

At a conference on the 29th of November at the Human Rights House in Oslo, a footage and pictures made by the Azerbaijani Press where shown which documented how the police, interior forces used unnecessary and disproportional violence against peacefully demonstrating civilians. The representatives of the Human Rights House Foundation and the Norwegian Helsinki Committee and the participants from Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan who attended the conference stated that this is an evidence of the failure to create a democratic Azerbaijan.

We ask Azerbaijani authorities to initiate an immediate and impartial investigation of the violent outcome of the demonstration and make sure that those responsible for ordering and executing the attacks on civilians will be brought to justice. We also ask Azerbaijani authorities to release all those detained in connection with the event, as well as to immediately provide full information about the whereabouts of the participants lost.

Today.az

URL: http://www.today.az/news/politics/21573.html

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