Life Inmates of Gobustan Prison to Announce Next Hunger Strike

Society Materials 4 October 2007 19:10 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku / Trend corr. K. Zarbaliyeva / A group of inmates sentenced to life imprisonment at the Gobustan closed prison stated they would launch their next hunger strike as a protest against the poor conditions of their cells, the relatives of the prisoners reported to Trend Agency on 4 October.

The prisoners wrote a letter describing the intense physical and moral pressure that they are undergoing. The officials of the prison further strengthened pressure after the prisoners' letter which protested against other law violations inside the prison. "The prison's official, Tahir Guliyev, taunts, insults, and bite prisoners," the letter reads. The worse treatment seems to be a response to the fact that the relatives of the prisoners appealed to the President and Prosecutor General's Office and that prisoners provided testimony to the Prosecutor of the Garadag Region.

The prisoners are demanding to meet with members of the committee. The committee appealed to the Chief of the Penal Service of the Azerbaijani Justice Ministry, Nazim Alakparov, to investigate the case and to meet with prisoners.

Mehman Sadihov, the Chief of Public Relations for the Penal Service, denied the information about physical and moral pressure against the prisoners. Nobody is interested in pressuring and torturing prisoners, Sadihov said.

A total of eighty-four prisoners who are currently serving their term in the Gobustan closed prison had their death penalties reduced to life sentences. After cancelling the death penalty the number of prisoners reached 128.

Due to Alikram Humbatov's lawsuit, the resolution of the European Court on human rights stated that the change of the death penalty to life imprisonment corresponds to the European Convention.