Elmira Suleymanova, marionette or ombudsman?

Representatives of the ombudsman Elmira Suleymanova didn't find traces of violence on Qiyas Ibrahimov or Bayram Mammadov

Representatives of the ombudsman Elmira Suleymanova didn't find traces of violence on Qiyas Ibrahimov or Bayram Mammadov

Ombudswoman Elmira Suleymanova and Lawyer Elcin Sadiqov

Members of the National Preventative Group for the Prevention of Torture Under the Ombudsman - yes, we have a group like that - visited N!DA youth activists Bayram Mammadov and Qiyas Ibrahimov in Baku’s Municipal Temporary Detention Center.

The current ombudswoman in Azerbaijan is Elmira Suleymanova.

A report compiled by her staff reported that members of the mission “did not notice any traces of torture on their bodies.”

Bayram and Qiyas have been accused of drug possession and intent to distribute. But we all know that the real reason behind the arrest and subsequent torture lies elsewhere: the boys drew graffiti on a monument to Heydar Aliyev in a sign of protest against widespread and  ongoing injustice in the country. Protest is not a matter taken lightly here in Azerbaijan, and that is why the government has decided to punish them so fiercely, so that others might think twice before voicing their opinions and dissent.  

The youth activists’ lawyer, Elcin Sadiqov, has recently publicised their testimonies on the torture, beatings and extortion they have faced while in police custody. The lawyer said: ‘I have seen bruises, abrasions and lesions on Bayram and Qiyas with my own eyes and I have read their testimonies on torture, the traces of which went mysteriously unnoticed by Elmira’s representatives.” 

Whom to believe? Sadiqov or Suleymanova? 

Contact.az has aptly noted that never once in the history of the reign of ombudsman Elmira Suleymanov have allegations of police violence, torture and brutality been verified or investigated. 

Elcin Sadiqov has regularly come to the aide of those who are unable to hire the defense expertise of more famous, expensive and wealthy lawyers. He is currently representing both Leyla and Arif Yunus, Anara Mammadli, Parviza Qashimli, Natiq Cavadli, fighters of OMON and journalists associated with Meydan TV. 

I am well informed as to what happens in the offices of our law - enforcement authorities, including those of the public prosecutor and the courts. I have been involved in similar trials and hearings myself, and have given testimony in court as a witness. 

Elmira Suleymanova, by nature of her current position, should know the natures of these cases better than I do - but she neither sees nor knows of them. Her people do not notice any bruises, no traces of violence. Our main defender of human rights does not want to know or hear of injustice: for to see, to know and to speak of these things in this country is a dangerous, scary and, most importantly, not a terribly profitable affair. 

And that is why talented caricaturist and artist Gunduz Agayev draws caricatures of ombudswoman Elmira Suleymanova. And why decent people refuse her their hand when they meet. And why they turn away when they see her accidentally on the the street.  

The article reflects the opinion of the author and as such may not reflect that of Meydan TV. 


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