“Even on holidays the cruelty continues”: Imprisoned opposition party member denied contact to family

Niyamaddin Ahmadov’s parents repeatedly denied contact to their son.

Niyamaddin Ahmadov's parents repeatedly denied contact to their son

Niyamaddin Ahmadov, a member of the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA) and former bodyguard of party chairman Ali Karimli, has been in prison since April 2020. For the past year or so, he has not been allowed to call his family.

The PFPA told Meydan TV that for about 9 months, in addition to phone calls, he was banned from meeting with family members.

“Only in January, he was allowed to meet with his father for the first time. Since then they met only once more.

Article 19.7 of the Law on Ensuring the Rights and Freedoms of Detainees states that detainees have the right to speak on the telephone twice a week for up to fifteen minutes. Long-distance and mobile phone calls are paid for by the arrested person and his relatives.

"Although he has the right to talk to family members twice a week, this cruel government does not allow Niyamaddin Ahmadov to speak to his elderly and sick mother.

"Even on holidays the cruelty continues", the PFPA said.

Niyamaddin Ahmadov's father Arif Ahmadov told Meydan TV that his wife had not seen or heard her son for about a year.

“We live in Tovuz, in the village. His mother is ill and cannot walk. They don't even let them hear each other's voices. Her illness and his imprisoment have exhausted her . I went several times until January, and I was not allowed to meet him. I was able to meet once in January and once in March. We were waiting for a call on the Novruz holiday."

Both Niyamaddin Ahmadov's father and lawyer Zibeyda Sadigova have repeatedly appealed to the Penitentiary Service, the Prosecutor's Office, the Ombudsman's Office and the court, to no avail. The Investigation Department of the Prosecutor General's Office, which is investigating the case of Niyamaddin Ahmadov, responded that they did not give any instructions to restrict the right to telephone conversations and meetings. The Penitentiary Service also responded to the appeals by saying that all the rights of Niyamaddin Ahmadov provided for in the legislation, including the right to talk and meet with family members on the phone, are guaranteed. Therefore, Sadigova sent a request some time ago asking how many times Niyamaddin Ahmadov met with his family members until January of this year, after he was brought to the Baku Pre-Trial Detention Center in May 2020. However, no answer to this request has been received.

Niyamaddin Ahmadov has been in


since April 2020. He was previously sentenced to one month of administrative detention on charges of violating the rules of the quarantine regime. Upon completion of this sentence, a criminal case was launched against him and he was charged with financing terrorism. It is alleged that Gabil Mammadov, who lived in Germany as a political immigrant and made harsh remarks on social media against the Azerbaijani government, including the president and his family, wanted to commit terrorism in Azerbaijan and sent money to Niyamaddin Ahmadov.

Niyamadiin Ahmadov denies the accusation, saying that Ali Karimli was arrested for being a public bodyguard. The Azerbaijani government has repeatedly used the coronavirus as a pretext to


oppositional voices. According to Niyamaddin Ahmadov, who once lived next door to Gabil Mammadov in the same village, this point was used to fabricate false accusations. He said he was tortured by the State Security Service (SSS) for testifying against Ali Karimli.

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