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ECHR launches work on lawsuit over Azerbaijan hostages' appeal

1 August 2017 18:13 (UTC+04:00)
ECHR launches work on lawsuit over Azerbaijan hostages' appeal

By Rashid Shirinov

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has begun a communication on a lawsuit filed by Firuza Askarova and Albina Veysalova, spouses of Azerbaijani hostages Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev.

Asgarov and Guliyev are the two Azerbaijanis, who are kept hostages by Armenian militaries in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan for more than three years.

Attorney Fariz Namazli told APA on August 1 that the ECHR addressed questions to the Armenian government with regard to the violation of articles 3 (No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.), 5.2 (Everyone who is arrested shall be informed promptly, in a language which he understands, of the reasons for his arrest and of any charge against him.), 5.3 (Everyone arrested or detained in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 1 (c) of this Article shall be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorized by law to exercise judicial power and shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release pending trial. Release may be conditioned by guarantees to appear for trial.), 5.4 (Everyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to take proceedings by which the lawfulness of his detention shall be decided speedily by a court and his release ordered if the detention is not lawful.), 6.1 (In the determination of his civil rights and obligations or of any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law. Judgment shall be pronounced publicly but the press and public may be excluded from all or part of the trial in the interests of morals, public order or national security in a democratic society, where the interests of juveniles or the protection of the private life of the parties so require, or to the extent strictly necessary in the opinion of the court in special circumstances where publicity would prejudice the interests of justice.), 6.2 (Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.), 6.3 item a (Everyone charged with a criminal offence has the following minimum rights: to be informed promptly, in a language which he understands and in detail, of the nature and cause of the accusation against him;), 6.3 item b (to have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defense;), 6.3 item e (to have the free assistance of an interpreter if he cannot understand or speak the language used in court.), 8 (Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.), 2nd article of the protocol No.4 (Everyone lawfully within the territory of a State shall, within that territory, have the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence.), if this liberty of movement is considered as a criminal action according to the 7th article, 14 article (The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this Convention shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, color, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status.).

The rights of the hostages’ spouses are being defended by Anar Bagirov.

ECHR also demanded the Armenian government to provide documents on the health conditions of Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev.

The two Azerbaijanis were detained by the Armenian armed forces in July 2014 while visiting their native places and graves of loved ones in the occupied Azerbaijani Kalbajar region. Moreover, Armenian forces killed the third captivated Azerbaijani, Hasan Hasanov.

Later, Guliyev and Asgarov were judged illegally by the unrecognized courts of a separatist regime in occupied Nagorno-Karabakh. Following an expedited “judicial process” in December 2015, Asgarov was sentenced to life imprisonment and Guliyev to 22 years. Attempts of Azerbaijan to provide justice and to free the hostages are still unsuccessful.

Azerbaijan’s State Committee on Affairs of Refugees and IDPs, the State Commission on Prisoners of War, Hostages and Missing Persons and other agencies have repeatedly urged international organizations, including the International Committee of the Red Cross, to assist in release of Guliyev and Asgarov, whilst the problem remains topical yet.


Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov

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