Former Azerbaijani Emergency Platoon Continues Official Hunger Strike
Azerbaijan, Baku 16 January / Trend corr. К.Zarbaliyeva / Ilgar Amiraslanov, the brother of Elchin Amiraslanov, the former chief of the Kazakh regional Emergency Platoon Department, did not confirm whether Elchin had stopped his hunger strike in Gobustan Prison.
Ilgar stated to Trend that Elchin had started a hunger strike on 6 January. Information given by Rustam Mehdiyev, the chief of the Central Department of the Penal Service at the Azerbaijani Justice Ministry, who said that Elchin had stopped the hunger strike, was not true.
Elchin, Shakir Rzakhanov, Rustam Mehtiyev and Zaur Suleymanov, serving life imprisonment in Gobustan Prison, launched a hunger strike on 12 January, demanding a meeting with high ranking state officials.
Ilgar said that Elchin had problems with his stomach. Elchin was operated on his head and had a bullet wound on his leg. "Long-term hunger is dangerous to Elchin's life. I want to meet with my brother and ask him to stop the hunger strike," Ilgar said.
Elchin launched his hunger strike in protest of conditions in the prison and to change his life sentence to fifteen years imprisonment.
Ilgar appealed to the Azerbaijani President, the president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and Justice Ministry in connection to Elchin's case.
Mehman Sadigov, the chief of the Central Department of the Penal Service at the Azerbaijani Justice Ministry, stated to Trend that Elchin was continuing the hunger strike. Sadigov said that Elchin had no health problems.
The two other prisoners, Rzakhanov and Sultanov, are also continuing the hunger strike.
The Department reported that prisoners, who are serving a 25 year sentence, may appeal to change the verdict.
Some 84 prisoners are being detained in the closed Gobustan Prison, the death penalty of which was commuted to life imprisonment.