Azerbaijan, Baku / Тrend corr K. Zarbaliyeva / Inmates at Gobustan Prison who went on hunger-strike are still protesting. The state of health of Dayanat Karimov has worsened. Karimov, accused of the murder of the First Secretary of the Milli Majlis (Azerbaijani Parliament), Afiaddin Jalilov, sentence was commuted from the death sentence to life imprisonment.
Karimov's sister, Nubar Karimova, reported on 25 June on the health problems of her brother, namely of an oedema of a leg. A medical examination failed to reveal the reason of the illness. According to Karimova, her brother is likely to be transferred to the Central Hospital. Karimov is continuing the hunger-strike and denies his guilt of the homicide.
According to relatives of the prisoners, over 50 inmates, whose death sentence was replaced by life imprisonment, went on hunger-strike on 18 June. However, according to the Penitentiary Service, 38 inmates have been on hunger-strike since 20 June. Inmates sentenced to life imprisonment after 2000 are among the strikers. They also demand their sentences be commuted to 15 years.
Eighty-four convicts sentenced to life imprisonment are serving their sentences in Gobustan Closed Prison. After the abolishment of the death penalty the number increased to 128.
The inmates believe that their sentences should be replaced by the hardest punishment of the country which is 15 years imprisonment.
The decision of the European Court on Human Rights relating to the appeal of Alikram Humbatov says that the replacement of the death sentence to life imprisonment corresponds to European Convention. It was noted that life imprisonment is much better than the death sentence.