Tuesday, May 17

When rape and fear is your only weapon (part 2)

The atrocities committed in Azerbaijan's detention centers- this needs to be mailed to every single apologist of Azerbaijan in order for them to understand the kind of the regime they are applauding and wanting to keep around for the sake of "stability". 

"They chained my hands from behind and then started beating me with batons. They punched me with their fists and legs. And when I started screaming from pain they taped my mouth", recently detained youth activist Bayram Mammadov wrote in a letter that was passed by his lawyer.

"I was brought to the chief's room where 7 or 8 civilian dressed men were waiting for me. They punched me, they slapped me on the face. They were demanding I tell them why I drove that graffiti and who I was in cohorts with. They beat me continuously. I eventually lost consciousness, I couldn't hear anything from all the beating".

"When I told them I have never even seen drug substance, they told me they cannot just arrest me for drawing graffiti. This upset them so they beat me harder. They threatened me they would rape me with police baton. So I had to tell them I did use drugs. I did everything they told me and wrote a letter. Then they told me that if I apologize from the statue, lay flowers and do all of this in front AzTV cameras they would let me go".

"When I refused to do so they continued to beat me."

Saturday, May 14

When rape and fear is your only weapon

"[...] the policemen beat them, forced them to take their pants off, and threatened to rape them with truncheons and bottles if they did not confess to drug possession. Following the abuse, they confessed to drug possession before they were allowed to see their lawyer."

This is not a movie script. This is police brutality in Azerbaijan, member of Council of Europe, signatory to a number of international conventions and treaties. This is the country, whose president recently shook hands with President Obama, smiling, proud while people like Ilgar Mammadov and Khadija Ismayilova are kept in silence behind the bars in Azerbaijan prisons. 

This a country that hosts conventions, UN events, sporting events all the while stealing from its people and living off like kings at the expense of its people. 

It is a country where police never found perpetrators behind Elmar Huseynov, journalist who was brutally murdered in front of his house in 2005. It is a country where police never fully explained and got the bottom of a murder another journalist/writer Rafig Tagi. It is a country where police failed to find those were behind setting secret cameras in journalist Khadija Ismayilova's apartment, and those who later blackmailed her with sex tapes and released them online.

But is a country where police is quick to fabricate charges against activists and notable individuals. It is a country where police can easily "discover" following a "thorough investigation" substantial amounts of heroin or molotov cocktails or arms in homes of activists, journalists, and other government critics. 

It should not be surprising then it also happens to be a country featured in Panama Papers and where its leader is stealing off just fine. 

The opening quote in this post was from a recent reported published by Human Rights Watch documenting recent arrest of two youth activists and their treatment inside the police. The report also said, "They [the two young men] were also forced to clean the toilets and yard of the police station while police filmed them. While at the station trying to get access to Mammadov and Ibrahimov, Sadigov [lawyer] saw police kick and humiliate his clients as they cleaned the station yard. Sadigov tried to intervene to stop the ill-treatment, but police physically pushed him out of the station."

I understand Aliyev's personal pleasure in silencing his critics, but does this recent treatment indicates that he also gets pleasure from his thugs called police raping these people as well?