Elderly women on hunger strike over land in Turkan
80-year-old woman: "If I knew the way, I would go directly to Ilham Aliyev'."
Residents of Baku's Turkan settlement, 91-year-old Khumara Shabanova, 80-year-old Azizakhanim Atayeva and 76-year-old Tamara Suleymanova have been on a hunger strike for two days. They told Meydan TV that will continue the strike until their demands are met.
The elderly women marched in front of the Prosecutor General's Office on 12 April where they submitted their demands to the Prosecutor General's Office in writing. They then announced a hunger strike in protest against the illegal release of Dashgin Nasirov, who seized documents of legal land plots in Turkan settlement, and to stress the unjustified arrest of Natig Mahammadsoy, who was helping them in their battle.
Azizakhanim Atayeva, 80, said she was disappointed with the 12 April meeting at the Prosecutor General's Office. "One of my demands is the Natig's release. The man was slandered for us, I am dying of embarrassment. In a village, in a neighborhood, it is a shame that someone else is in trouble. He helped us and found us a laywer... [now] they are blaming him. My land is gone, and he is in jail. I'm ashamed of myself… "
According to Azizakhanim Atayeva, the case was opened when she wanted to transfer the land to her eldest son. I went and saw that I had been marked as "dead" for many years. They should give me the deeds, that's all I want. I want honesty. Is it appropriate for high-ranking officials to take everything away from us in a flash? I will continue the hunger strike, and they should let Natig go. If I knew the way, I will go directly to Ilham Aliyev. After all, as a mother, as a grandmother, he should accept me and listen to my sorrows. I have been suffering for months… ”
Khumara Shabanova, 91, is also demanding the return of the seized land and the release of Natig Mahammadsoy.
"I am 91 years old. I have reached the point that I'm ready to go. I have to commit suicide because they don't take me seriously. In my old age, I was not already a glutton. My husband died, and at age 36, I was left with six children. There was a time when I could not find bread to eat. And now this is happening to me in my old age. Natig Mahammadsoy just took us in his car and helped us to get a lawyer. We are ashamed that he was slandered for us."
Natig Mahammadsoy's mother, 76-year-old Tamara Suleymanova, said that on April 12, when her health was deteriorating, an ambulance doctor warned her that she was at risk of stroke. He asked her to eat. But Tamara Suleymanova did not change her mind.
"I have been starving for three days because of my child. The prosecutor's office says that Natig has been convicted before. If he made a mistake before, he was punished. If he committed a crime before, can he be blamed now? Didn't those people who sold their land commit a crime? Why did you let them go? I have no other choice, I will starve until my child comes. If I die, I die.”
Azizakhanim Atayeva and Khumara Shabanova were recorded as dead, and their property was seized in thhis way. The Prosecutor General's Office is investigating the seizure now. First, Rahil Babayev, a former executive representative of the Khazar District Executive Power in Turkan settlement, and Chingiz Safarov, a resident of the settlement, were arrested. Dashgin Nasirov is wanted; he had been arrested in December 2020, but then put house arrest due to health problems, which led to the protest. The former executive Nasirov was charged with forgery and abuse of office, while the Babayev and Safarov were charged with fraud and forgery.
Natig Mahammadsoy, detained on March 5, was charged under Articles 228.1 (illegal possession of weapons) and 234.2 (acquisition, possession, transportation of drugs for sale) of the Criminal Code. He pleaded not guilty in court and stated that the weapons and drugs found in his home and car were not his, and that he was being frame for helping to protect the rights of elderly neighbors whose property had been forcibly confiscated.
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