Friday Wrap-up: Corona casualties, hunger strikes and deaths in custody

Friday Wrap-up: Corona casualties, hunger strikes and deaths in custody

The week of 12-16 April saw the beginning of the third wave of COVID-19 in Azerbaijan and multiple instances of hunger strikes as a method of seeking justice. Moreover, the number of doctors who have been killed by COVID-19 continues to rise, and the World Organization Against Torture released a report on torture and deaths in custody in Azerbaijan.

At least 100 health workers have died from COVID-19

Since the beginning of COVID-19, many healthcare workers in Azerbaijan have lost their lives. However, the Azerbaijani government hasn’t been transparent on disclosing the statistics on doctors who have died from COVID-19 so far. After multiple failed attempts to reach the Ministry of Health in Azerbaijan (SH), we got a hold of Adil Geybullay, the chairman of the Azerbaijan Doctors' Public Union (AHIB). According to Geybullav, more than 100 doctors have died due to COVID-19, and that they have proposed to the government that the doctors who lost their lives because of COVID-19 should be given special status, but unfortunately there was no response.

Azerbaijan is currently experiencing a third wave of the virus, according to Professor Akif Gurbanov, Deputy Director of the Azerbaijani Management Union of Medical Territorial Units (TABIB). If the numbers continue to increase, Gurbanov says the situation may become difficult to control.

Hunger Strikes

Three elderly women, residents of Baku's Turkan settlement have been on a hunger strike since the beginning of the week. They


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. The three women said they would continue their hunger strike until the demands are met despite the deterioration of their health conditions.

“I also told the deputy that Kamran Aliyev should receive us and investigate the open crime”
Elderly women on hunger strike over land in Turkan

Former MP Huseyn Abdullayev has also started a hunger strike earlier this week in the prison. He has been sentenced to 6 years in jail for tax evasion after being deported from Turkey to Azerbaijan while visiting from his exile in Germany. In a letter he wrote about his decision, stressing that the reason for the hunger strike was the failure of the Azerbaijani government to implement the decision of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.

Hüseyn Abdullayev
Hüseyn Abdullayev begins a hunger strike

Deaths in custody

According to a


published by the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) – at least 78 Azerbaijani citizens have been detained and sentenced to between 12 and 20 years in prison, with multiple cases of torture, including 11 deaths in custody of Azerbaijani military personnel and civilians.

After the War: Starting Life Over

In our After the War series, we speak to those affected on both sides of the war that broke out in Nagorno-Karabakh in 2020 between Azerbaijan and Armenia. On Tuesday we published our second video of the series where we spoke with Tarana Hasanova, whose home was destroyed during the fighting.

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