Novruzali Mammadov

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Novruzali Mammadov (1940 - August 17, 2009) was a Talysh national minority activist in Azerbaijan, PhD in Philology, editor of the now-defunct newspaper Talyshi Sado (Voice of the Talysh), recognized as a political prisoner by international organizations,[1] being held in violation of his rights to freedom of expression and association.[2] Mammadov also worked at the Institute of Linguistics of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences and headed a Talysh cultural center, closed after his imprisonment.[3]

Imprisonment[edit]

In June 2008, trial in the Grave Crimes Court of Azerbaijan, without participation of lawyers, Mammadov's family and the press,[4] announced the verdict against him and responsible secretary of Tolishi Sado Elman Guliyev. They were accused under the Article 274 of the Criminal Code (high treason), and sentenced Mammadov to 10 years of imprisonment, Guliyev - to 6 years of imprisonment (without confiscation of property) in the strong regime jail.[5] Mammadov was accused of espionage in favor of Iran.[6] He was arrested after the newspaper published articles showing well-known poet Nezami as Persian, claiming her mother, named Ra'isa, to be Kurdish, and leader of Khurramites movement Babak Khoramdin as Talysh.[7]

International organizations such as Washington Profile, UNPO [8][9] and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty[10] have voiced their concerns about the arrest of Mammadov.

On June 26, 2008, the Human Rights Commissioner of the Council of Europe Thomas Hammarberg announced, that the Council of Europe "is very dissatisfied" by the verdict concerning Mammadov.[11]

In February, 2009 the representatives of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Baku Office, Norway’s embassy and of the representation of the CE in Baku visited him in jail.[6]

On April 9, 2009, Estonian MP Andres Herkel, co-rapporteur of the Monitoring Committee of Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), and Veronica Kotek, special representative of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe in Azerbaijan, had a meeting with Mammadov, who was serving his term in high security Colony No. 15. Mr Herkel said that he, together with the newly appointed PACE's rapporteur on political prisoners Christopher Strasser, got acquainted with his case, and at a meeting with president Ilham Aliev he would remind him about it.[12]

On July 27, 2009 Mammadov was transferred to the hospital of the Penitentiary Service of the Ministry of Justice of Azerbaijan, but was still deprived of duly qualified medical aid. According to Khilal Mamedov he was placed into a common ward, without elementary sanitary facilities and without bed clothes. He couldn't move freely, eat and drink; he suffered from pains and shortness of breath; but did not receive medical care.[13] Mammadov died in an Azeri prison hospital from a heart attack on 17 August 2009.[14][15]

Family[edit]

In the period of Mammadov's consequence his sons Emil and Kyamran were repeatedly abducted for short times, physical and moral pressure was used against them.[16] On September 8, 2007 Kyamran Mammadov died of a heart attack.

Mammadov's other son, Emil, had been charged with storage and use of drugs. A court ordered his release from prison in 2008, finding the charges against him unproven.[16]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ FHRPO: There Are 66 Political Prisoners In Azerbaijan, 2009
  2. ^ Azerbaijan: 10-year sentence for editor, PEN, July 4, 2008
  3. ^ 2008 prison census: 125 journalists jailed, CPJ, 2008
  4. ^ Letter to the President of Azerbaijan, by Jacqueline Albert-Simon, Larry Martz Freedom of the Press Committee, Overseas Press Club of America, 2008
  5. ^ Novruzali Mamedov Is Sentenced To Ten Years Of Imprisonment
  6. ^ a b REPRESENTATIVES OF DIPLOMATIC CORPS VISIT NOVRUZALI MAMEDOV, 2009
  7. ^ "Editors of "Tolishi sedo" newspaper took stand of betrayal of country". http://www.anspress.com/. Archived from the original on 2008-05-12. Retrieved 2007-12-30. 
  8. ^ "Allegation of Minority Rights Violations in Azerbaijan". http://www.washprofile.org/. Retrieved 2007-12-29. 
  9. ^ "Talysh: Editor Arrested". http://www.unpo.org/. Retrieved 2007-12-29. 
  10. ^ "AZERBAIJANI AUTHORITIES ACCUSED OF DISCRIMINATING AGAINST ETHNIC MINORITIES". http://www.hri.org/. Retrieved 2007-12-29. 
  11. ^ В Азербайджане из зала суда освобожден сын талышского активиста, kavkaz-uzel.ru, 2008
  12. ^ In Azerbaijan, detained Talysh activist was visited by PACE co-rapporteur, 2009
  13. ^ In Azerbaijan, convicted editor Mamedov complains of absence of treatment at prison hospital
  14. ^ ""Tolishi sado" daily editor died in Azeri prison". News.am. 2009-08-18. 
  15. ^ "Journalist, Rights Activist Dies In Azerbaijani Jail". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 2009-08-18. 
  16. ^ a b "A court in Azerbaijan frees the son of a Talish activist". Kavkaz Uzel (Caucasian Knot). 2008-07-08. (in Russian)