Relatives of Prisoners on Hunger Strike Launch to Appeal to Council of Europe

Society Materials 20 September 2007 12:30 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku / Trend corr. К.Zarbaliyeva / The relatives of the hunger strike prisoners in the Gobustan closed prison are preparing an appeal to the autumn session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. The appeal requests that the Azerbaijani Government does not fulfill Article 8.8 and Article 8.9 of the PACE N1545 Resolution.

The appeal also reported on the bad conditions in the prison and the increase of suicides, as well as recommendations to resolve problems caused by the abolishment of the death penalty and to consider the case of each prisoner in compliance with the articles of the law.

A total of 84 prisoners are detained in Gobustan closed prison whose death penalties were changed to life imprisonment. The prisoners believe that life imprisonment should have been changed to15 years after the abolishment of the death penalty.

The European Court on Human Rights regulation on the lawsuit of Alikram Humbatov believes the change of the death penalty to life imprisonment corresponds to the European Convention. Life imprisonment is a lighter sentence than the death penalty and cannot be considered a grave crime

The prisoners said they would submit the appeal to the President, Justice Ministry, Supreme Court, the Ombudswoman and the Constitution Court.

Twenty prisoners have demanded to meet with the Chairman of the Constitution Court, Farhad Abdullayev, and Human Rights Activist, Eldar Zeynalov.

"The Constitution Court considered the legal demands of the prisoners to decrease their term to 15 years imprisonment and made the decision to consider each appeal by the first degree of jurisdiction. However, the Garadag District Court has not made its decision on the appeals of the prisoners," a source in the Committee reported. The relatives of the prisoners have said that the prison authorities have refused the appeals of the prisoners to be sent to the necessary organizations or to their families.

Mehman Sadigov, the Chief of the Central Department of the Penal Service, said Rauf Eyvazov, one of the five prisoners who went on a hunger strike, has ended the protest action but four of the prisoners are still on hunger strike, the Public Relations Department of the Penal Service reported.