Karimli: Quba Custody Case Proof of Existing Culture of Violence in Azerbaijan

A video portraying a ten-year-old girl being ripped away from her aunt’s arms by aggressive officers was released on social media earlier this month, eliciting a bitter reaction from many.

The incident in question dates back to December 7, 2016. The ten-minute clip shows how officers from Quba District Court – 170 km north of Baku – used force against Nuray Bayramzade to rip her away from her maternal aunt after the local court ruled in favor of her biological father, Avaz Bayramov, in a custody hearing.

Nuray’s father has been trying to regain custody of his daughter since 2011. Nuray had been living with her aunt, Mehriban Eldarova, since her mother passed away in 2010. According to Eldarova, Nuray’s father abandoned the family in 2007 after discovering his wife had cancer. According to him, it was Nuray’s mother who “destroyed the marriage.”

Despite the verdict in favor of the biological father, Nuray will continue to live with her aunt. The State Committee of Azerbaijan for Family, Women and Children declared that the court’s verdict did not aim to benefit Nuray.

“Under no circumstances should the execution of verdicts harm children’s lives and upbringings”, declared the State Commission, local media reports.

The Ministry of Justice is now investigating the incident.

“An investigation of the issue is being carried out by the

Ministry of Justice

and the appropriate measures will be taken”, the Ministry said.

Nuray’s case received widespread attention in Azerbaijan and the comments of several public figures. Ali Karimli, leader of the oppositionist Azerbaijani Popular Front Party (APFP), spoke about the case, denouncing the legitimized culture of violence existing in Azerbaijan.

“In the army, our children are exposed to violence. In prisons and police stations, violence and torture are a common phenomenon. The European court has delivered dozens of verdicts in relation to the use of torture in State offices, confirmed the existence of torture, but not a single perpetrator of torture has been punished by the Azerbaijani authorities”, Radio Azadliq reports.

As of now, Nuray’s case is still open. According to local media, Nuray turned to President Aliyev on December 30 asking for protection from her biological father and from officers.

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