Twenty-Six Gobustan Prison Inmates on Hunger Strike
Azerbaijan, Baku / Тrend corr K. Zarbaliyeva / Nazim Alakbarov, head of the Penitentiary Service and Deputy Minister for Justice, informed Trend during an exclusive interview on 17 April that 26 prisoners in the Gobustan closed prison went on hunger-strike on 16 April.
He stressed, however, that the information that there were about 80 inmates on hunger strike was untrue. According to Alakbarov, the inmates refused to have their dinner and declared a hunger strike after which time they presented a written statement. The 26 life-term prisoners demand that their sentences be changed to 15 years imprisonment. They also demanded to raise the issue at the PACE (The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe) session. Alakbarov stated that the issue was out of their responsibility.
"The demands of the prisoners should be considered by the court. Some prisoners have already applied to court and the cases of the other prisoners are being considered by the courts of high instance," he said.
The families of the prisoners have stated that over 30 prisoners have been on hunger strike for 3 days, and all the 80 prisoners sentenced to life imprisonment began the strike on April 16.