Sabirabad residents complain about torture during unjustified police detention

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In January of this year, several fires broke out in a barn in the yard of the Gurbanov family in the village of Garagashli village in Sabirabad. 

The owner of the house believed that the fire was intentional and called the police. Khalil Alizadeh, an operative officer of the Sabirabad District Police Department, arrived at the Gurbanovs’ residence, claiming that he was investigating the suspicions. He then took Punhan Gurbanov to the police station for the first time.

However, Punhan was taken to the police station several additional times in February. In one occasion, he was detained for three days. Local police officers alleged that his neighbor named him responsible for the fires, which was proved false when Punhan asked him directly. He also adds that he was not in the village during the fires, so it is impossible that he had caused it.

Subhan Gurbanov’s arm after being detained. Source: Meydan TV.

When Punhan’s brother, Subhan Gurbanov, returned to the village in March, he was also summoned because of the fires.

Both brothers were taken to the police station again by the same officer. Arriving there, they were separated and Subhan was coerced into signing a term claiming responsibility for the fires. As he refused, he was severely beaten.

After Subhan’s released, his clear torture marks were revealed. Because of that, the brothers went to the prosecutor’s office for initiating a criminal case.

Even so, according to the Gurbanovs, they were summoned to the Sabirabad District Police Department after appealing to the Sabirabad District Prosecutor’s Office. Punhan explained that the deputy chief called and threatened them for complaining to the prosecutor’s office, “hinting at us that your way [of dealing with the situation] could make you go to the department again”, he adds.

The Sabirabad District Police Department told Meydan TV that the Gurbanovs were summoned to the department, given explanations and released. They claimed that there were no illegal actions against the brothers.

In turn, the Sabirabad District Prosecutor’s Office said that Subhan and Punhan Gurbanov had filed an application for initiating a criminal case and that an investigation is underway.

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