Azerbaijan-Alert: Son of Human Rights Defender Akifa Aliyeva arrested

Akiva Aliyeva, coordinator of the Ganja branch of the Helsinki Citizens' Assembly (hCa), informed us that her son Javid was arrested on 18 April 2007 at 18:30.

Javid was stopped by the traffic police, because, according to the police, he had illegally hung a curtain in the back window of his car. When Javid asked why they stopped him - because it is common practice to have a curtain in the back window of car - the police officer aggressively demanded to take it away. Being a member of a human rights organization, Javid is very aware of his rights, and therefore he asked them to stop using obscene language and to respect his rights. Javid also asked the police officers to identify themselves, which they refused to do. When Javid tried to defend his rights, the police officers arrested Javid on the accusation of recalcitrancy.

The police did not inform his family of his arrest, nor was Javid allowed to call his parents, which is a clear violation of his legal rights. His mobile phone was confiscated when he tried to call his parents. Only at 3 'o clock in the morning, Ms Aliyeva found out that her son was detained at the police department of the Nizami district.

When Ms Aliyeva and other family members visited the police department the next morning, they managed to see Javid, but not privately and just for a short moment. Javid explained that this was a clear set up, and that he was humiliated and threatened in several ways when he was in his car and at police department. He was very stressed and afraid.

Javid's court case began the next day, on April 19, at 11:00 hrs in the morning. The police managed to document his case over night. On his way to court, Javid was accompanied by a group of police officers, as if he were a dangerous criminal. The court itself was held behind closed doors. The police did not allow Javid to be assisted by a lawyer, nor they did allow the presence of Javid's parents.

Javid was sentenced to three days in jail. Just after the court case, the judge told Ms Aliyeva that police chief of the Nizami district, Mr Guseynaga Mamedov, personally demanded him to sentence Javid to 15 day in jail, but respecting Javid, the judge decided to change that into three days. The judge advised Ms. Aliyeva not to appeal to a higher court.
After the court case, Ms Aliyeva could not meet with Javid, because he was directly taken to jail.
Family and friends are allowed to visit him two times a day to bring food.

There is a number of reasons to believe that the arrest of Javid is part of a larger intimidation campaign towards Ms Aliyeva. In a court case against Ms Aliyeva last year, she was warned to stop her human rights work for the safety of her children. In this case, one police officer, Mr Hadjiyev Nazim, told Ms Aliyeva that they would take compromising photographs of Javid with an 'indecent woman' and that they would distribute these in the media.

Just two days before the arrest of Javid, Ms Aliyeva presented a report on human right violations - especially by the police - to representatives of the US Embassy. Members of the opposition party Musavat who spoke with representatives of the US Embassy as well, found themselves expelled from their office the next day, with their equipment thrown out of the door.

What can you do?

* Please send the protest letter below to:
- The Head of the Government Traffic Police
Email: info@dyp.gov.az
Fax: +994 12 442 32 82
- Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan
Fax: + 994 12 490 98 64
And a copy to:
- Executive Committee of the President's Office
Email: office@apparat gov.az
Fax: +994 12 49217 36
- Ombudsman - Commission for Human Rights of the Republic of Azerbaijan
Fax: +994 12 498 23 65

Please send a copy of this letter to Katelijne Heringa: heringa@ikvpaxchristi.nl and Akifa Aliyeva: akifahca@yahoo.com

You can also send a letter of support to Ms Akifa Aliyeva: akifahca@yahoo.com

For more information, please contact:
Ms Jitske Hoogenboom
Senior Programme Officer Caucasus
IKV Pax Christi
P.O. Box 19318
3501 DH Utrecht
The Netherlands
tel: +31 (0)30 - 2 33 33 46
fax: +31 (0)30 - 2 36 81 99
+ 31 (0) 6 489 814 96
hoogenboom@ikvpaxchristi.nl
www.ikvpaxchristi.nl



To: The Head of the Government Traffic Police
Email: info@dyp.gov.az
Fax: +994 12 442 32 82

Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan
Fax: + 994 12 490 98 64

 

From :

Place, date

Honorable sir,

With shock I received the news of the arrest on Wednesday night April 18, 2007, of Javid Aliyev, the son of human rights defender Akifa Aliyeva, in Ganja. This arrest has all the signs of being a political arrest, meant to pressure Ms. Aliyeva. Ms. Aliyeva has repeatedly been warned to stop her human rights defense work and has been the subject of an intimidation campaign for years now.

Javid was stopped by the traffic police, because, according to the police, he had illegally hung a curtain in the back window of his car. Javid was arrested for showing disrespect to the authorities. The police did not inform his family of his arrest, nor was Javid allowed to call his parents, which is a clear violation of his legal rights. At 3 ‘o clock in the morning, Ms Aliyeva found out that her son was detained at the police department of the Nizami district.

When Ms Aliyeva and other family members visited the police department the next morning, they found out that the court was already in session, behind close doors. The polices did not allow Javid to be assisted by a lawyer, nor did they allow the presence of Javid’s parents.

I strongly have to protest this cause of action. There is a number of reasons to believe that the arrest of Javid is part of a larger intimidation campaign towards Ms Aliyeva. During earlier campaigns against Ms. Alieva, she was informed that she should stop her work to secure the safety of her children. Just two days before the arrest of Javid, Ms Aliyeva presented a report on human right violations with special attention to police violations to representatives of the US Embassy.

I call upon you to:
Order the release Javid Aliyev immediately
To withdraw the charges and sentence made against him
To prosecute the police officers responsible for this event
To take such measures as to prevent the reoccurrence of such arrests;
To refrain from hindering Akifa Aliyeva and other human rights defenders in their work

Sincerely,

Name
(Position, organization)
Place
Country

Copy to: Executive Committee of the President’s Office
Email: office@apparat gov.az
Fax: +994 12 49217 36
Ombudsman – Commission for Human Rights of the Republic of Azerbaijan
Fax: +994 12 498 23 65
Akifa Alieva
Email: Akifahca@yahoo.com