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The Procuracy and Judge's Treatment of Coerced Testimony

Procuracy officials and judges have the duty under international law not to use testimony obtained through torture in criminal proceedings, and to investigate and prosecute reports of torture.86 But among the cases researched by Human Rights Watch, no victim or defense attorney was successful in challenging the admissibility of testimony on the grounds of torture. An obstacle to such challenges in many cases was securing a forensic medical examination to document alleged torture during the preliminary investigation-a key piece of evidence to determine the nature and cause of detainees' injuries, and to establish criminal responsibility for them.

In no single case of abuse documented by Human Rights Watch did a detainee's report of torture cause a judge to exclude coerced testimony. In one case, the victim forbade his attorney from even requesting a forensic exam prior to trial because he feared for his life. The defense in this and other cases generally attempted at trial to gain a review of torture and coerced testimony. However, in some cases judges refused to order the medical examinations to substantiate the claims, or in other cases medical examinations could not ascertain the cause of injuries after a lengthy period of pretrial detention.

Osman Kazimov was able to secure a forensic medical examination after making repeated requests to the Supreme Court after the trial of his client, Abulfat Kerimov, began on October 1, 1996. Twenty-four of the defendants tried along with Kerimov, in a major OPON case, stated during the proceedings that they had been subjected to physical abuse or mental duress during detention to extract testimony from them while in custody. According to AmnestyInternational, one defendant, Murshud Mahmudov, stated during the proceedings that he had been subject to electric shock; Kerimov stated that he had been hung upside down and beaten, while a third, Tahir Ragimov described regular and severe beatings during questioning sessions.87

According to Kazimov, forensic medical examinations showed that nine of the thirty-four other defendants in the case showed broken bones, but that the cause of the injuries was not clear. Kerimov was not among the nine. In this case, as well in other cases reviewed by Human Rights Watch, lengthy periods of pretrial detention delayed access to the forensic medical examinations, allowing for signs of physical abuse to fade.

Elton Guliyev petitioned the Supreme Court of Azerbaijan on February 4, 1996, for a forensic medical examination for his client, Eldar Agayev. Guliyev told Human Rights Watch:

The court had all the medical documents that testified to his beating, including his bloodied trousers. Nonetheless, the court denied the petition [together with our other petitions]. . . for a forensic medical examination . . .reasoning that it was irrelevant for the case and had no bearing on establishing the truth in the case.88

Guliyev stated that at trial Agayev identified and named the officers of the twentieth police precinct who had been involved in beating him. However, all the officers named denied beating him and some stated that they had never seen him before. Moreover, Agayev's sister-in-law testified at the trial that she had inadvertently seen him in the courtyard of the hospital as he was being taken to receive medical treatment for the injuries he sustained in custody.

Chairman of the Azerbaijan Supreme Court Khanlar I.F. Hajiev told Human Rights Watch that during the trial the judges' uncertainty regarding Agayev's guilt had caused them to hand down a twelve-year sentence rather than a more severe sentence usually given for murder. Hajiev stated that he believed that the testimony of two witnesses in the case who had been instrumental in proving Agayev's guilt was obtained from them through "violations of procedures."89

I have already been told that this was a serious case, and that even the judges' doubts led to the fact that he didn't receive a strict sentence. Apparently the judges had doubts, and didn't give the strictest sentence. The seriousness of this case is that there were two witnesses who say that they saw him shoot. But the testimony of those witnesses-to accept it or not-we are thinking about that. That testimony was gained by violations of procedures.90

Hajiev noted that the person who provided Agayev's alibi for the time of the murder was also beaten. "We are checking his alibi. At the trial, he said during the investigation that he was inside some shops and couldn't have been in the market. A second person was also beaten ... the person that was ostensibly waiting for him."91

While Hajiev's comments serve to acknowledge that torture does in fact occur, they also reflect the widespread disregard for the presumption of innocence in Azerbaijan. Doubts in the minds of the judges arising from insufficient evidence to convict should be grounds for dismissal of charges rather than lower penalties.

At the end of 1996, the trial of twenty-one defendants accused of mounting a coup attempt involving officials of the Defense Ministry, known as the Case of the Generals, shows a similar pattern of a judge's refusal to ruleinadmissible confessions and other testimony that defendants claimed were taken under duress. Nineteen of the twenty-one defendants accused of the coup attempt wrote to Amnesty International and other organizations recanting testimony and stating that it had been extracted under duress.92

Among the accused were former deputy defense minister Vahid Mussayev, Rafik Agayev, and colonels Javal Mikayilov and Anatoly Sysoyev, the latter a Ukrainian citizen working in the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry. Sysoyev's lawyer, Rauf Abdulayev, told Human Rights Watch that Sysoyev was brutally mistreated while in the custody of the Presidential Special Department, and that Sysoyev's trial, begun in October 1996, was marred by glaring procedural irregularities.93

Sysoyev was detained at his home at the end of November 1995 by a group of officials who allegedly refused to identify themselves. The Azerbaijani government apparently made a public statement indicating that Sysoyev was in custody and under investigation for withholding information about the alleged coup attempt, but did not inform his family or the lawyer where he was being held. Abdulayev said that his client was taken to the Presidential Special Department holding cells, located in the cellar of its Azadlik Avenue headquarters. According to Abdulayev, the authorities did not record Sysoyev's presence in the facility, and did not make known to him the date of Sysoyev's transfer from this facility to the Shuvelan and then Bail SIzo.94

The first time Abdulayev was able to meet Sysoyev was in March 1996, four months after his arrest. The lawyer reported that Sysoyev was reluctant to elaborate on his treatment in the Presidential Special Department during their first meeting, which took place at Bail SIzo, and at subsequent meetings in May 1996. He said that they discussed the possibility of requesting that the investigator allow a forensic medical examination to verify the injuries Sysoyev had sustained while in custody. The lawyer explained, "The law allows me to do this. But Sysoyev didn't allow me. In May, he told me not to tell anyone about this or `I shall not survive until the trial. I shall tell everything that happened at the trial.' And I did what my client told me."

According to Abdulayev, at the trial Sysoyev gave a detailed description of the treatment he had been subjected to while in the Presidential Special Department, including naming the officials who abused him.

At the trial he stated that he had been tortured in the Special Department. He was burnt by cigarettes on his hands and he was abused. His legs were tied and he was hung with his head hanging down and beaten with nightsticks that were broken over his body. And then he was beaten with the legs of a table. He was connected to electricity by his ears, with wires running into a box similar to a telephone. And when you turn the disc on the telephone the electricity passes through the wire and it beats your head. He named concrete persons, places, times, titles of who did this to him in the Special Department.

Abdulayev alleged that the authorities in the Presidential Special Department used Sysoyev to demonstrate to other suspects what could happen to them as a form of psychological pressure to extract confessions from them. Abdulayev added that the visible marks of trauma still on Sysoyev's body caused him to make a request in October 1996 for a forensic medical examination.

The court denied the request. I was refused. I asked to allow a forensic medical examination regarding the marks of the crime on Sysoyev's body. His ear was ripped, his eyebrows, nose and lips were scraped, on his body there are traces of cigarette burns.

Abdulayev made a second request in December 1996 that was also rejected. "They told me, `there is no need for this.'" The lawyer reported that judges in the case also ignored testimony from witnesses who came forward to testify about Sysoyev's condition.

Javal Mikayilov, a colonel who fought in Afghanistan in the Soviet Army who was at the trial as a future defendant, said that when he saw Sysoyev in the Special Department he became afraid, [he said] if they told me to write a confession that I was the one who killed Israeli Prime Minister Rabin, I would... .

I was wearing a dark blue tie with red stripes. And he said, "Sysoyev was the same color as your tie."

The second witness, Capt. Elgan Assimov, also involved in this case, testified that when he was put into Sysoyev's cell [in order] to frighten him, he [Sysoyev] gave the impression of being a mental patient. And the third witness, Bala Husseinov, who stands accused of a terrorist act against Aliyev in August....He says that when he was taken to Sysoyev's cell in the Special Department, that Sysoyev was lying on the bare stone floor, "I saw he was moving and was blue." I asked, "Was he painted?" "No, he was beaten so much that his head was swollen like this."

At his trial on charges of concealing evidence, Elchin Behbudov recanted his testimony incriminating others, stating it had been obtained through torture. He told Human Rights Watch that he identified to the court some of the officials involved in the beatings by their first names, but the chief of the Gorotdel detective unit, Mammed Mikayilov, denied that he employed the staff Behbudov named. Behbudov's cell mate at the Gorotdel told the court about Behbudov's condition, in particular, about his bruises. The judge, however, ruled Behbudov's testimony as admissible, and handed him a two-year suspended sentence.

Lack of Procedural Safeguards
We can't say that this happens often....You understand these are the remnants of Soviet society. The lawyers constantly say, "They are beaten..." This is one of the methods of the defense. You can say that this is one of the defense's methods, because if there is confession during the investigation, or the suspect admits his guilt and there is no reason to do this, then the lawyers say they were beaten or psychologically pressured, that is why he confessed. But you can't take this seriously.

Khanlar Hajiev

Chairman of the Azerbaijani Supreme Court95

The lack of procedural protections in Azerbaijani law for those under suspicion of criminal offenses combined with the lack of independence of the courts-neither of which have seen substantial reform since the Soviet period -offers some insight into how persistent and wide-scale torture of detainees occurs unchecked in Azerbaijan. Officials, including those of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, procuracy, and judges at the highest level were willing to allow that abuse occurred in extremely rare cases, but they scorned the credibility of most torture allegations. However, the lack of procedural safeguards in the Azerbaijani criminal procedure code combined with the Ministry of Internal Affairs practice of keeping detainees utterly isolated from society, makes it difficult for a detainee to prove abuse while he or she is in detention awaiting trial. Later at trial, judges frequently fail to exclude coerced testimony.

The criminal procedure code was adopted in 1961 and although it has been subject to minor amendment since, it is a holdover from the Soviet period. Under it, before completed criminal investigations are turned over to a court, there is no judicial review of detention and the ordering of forensic medical examinations is entirely up to the discretion of the procuracy. Since investigations are subject to extensions of indefinite lengths, in some cases for months or longer, this is a serious violation of Azerbaijan's obligations under the ICCPR's article 9(4), which states: "Anyonewho is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to take proceedings before a court, in order that that court may decide without delay on the lawfulness of his detention and order his release if the detention is not lawful."96 This practice also violates article 9(3) of the ICCPR, which states: "It shall not be the general rule that persons awaiting trial shall be detained in custody, but release may be subject to guarantees to appear for trial, at any other stage of the judicial proceedings, and should, occasion arise, for execution of the judgement."97

The criminal procedure code stipulates that once it has been established through an inquiry that a crime has occurred, the case investigator98 has the responsibility during the preliminary investigation to order examination of all evidence related to the crime, including questioning the suspect and witnesses, ordering searches and seizures, and ordering expert analysis of any evidence.99 This gives the investigator the right to approve or deny a lawyer's or detainee's request during the preliminary investigation for a forensic medical examination or any other type of expert examination while a detainee is being held or at any time until the case is handed over to a court.

The criminal procedure code in article 45 attempts to provide suspects some protection by stating that an investigator cannot reject a suspect's request to question a witness or to conduct expert analysis, such as by a forensic medical expert, if these are significant to the case. However, the term "significant" is open to the discretion of the investigator to interpret. Should the investigator refuse a detainee's request, he is obliged to provide an explanation. But should the defense wish to challenge such a refusal, article 61 stipulates it must submit the complaint not to a court, but to a higher-level procuracy official; otherwise the defense has recourse to judicial review only when the criminal case is sent to court. These provisions regarding the ordering of expert analysis have in practice the effect of cutting detainees off for long periods from access to forensic medical examinations that could substantiate their claims that they have been physically abused.

Further, since the code does not require detainees to be brought before a judge to determine the lawfulness of their detention, they can mount such a challenge only when their trial begins. Detainees are usually held in a detention facility while under investigation before trial, and may appeal custody only to higher levels of the procuracy.100

The Azerbaijani criminal justice system, as did the Soviet system, emphasizes the "isolation" of the detainee from society as a "restraining measure" pending the completion of the preliminary investigation. The "restraining measure" of pretrial detention is intended to prevent the suspect from obstructing the investigation, fleeing or continuing toengage in criminal activity. Under international law, authorities may detain a suspect prior to trial, but only in exceptional cases.

However, detention prior to trial in Azerbaijan is the norm rather than exception even for petty property crimes, and article 146 grants the procuracy unlimited power to extend the length of the preliminary investigative period, and thus the detention. This article states that preliminary investigation must be completed in two months, but then goes on to detail that extensions may be granted by higher-level procuracy officials for several months, and for an indefinite period in "exceptional cases" upon the authorization of the General Procurator. The granting of such exemptions in what are supposed to be "exceptional cases" leads to prolonged and routine periods of pretrial detention.

Under the Soviet system, it was envisioned that as a rule a defense lawyer would begin work to mount a defense in a case only at the end of the preliminary investigation, shortly before the beginning of the trial.101 Currently, the Azerbaijani criminal procedure code grants detainees the right to a lawyer no later than twenty-four hours after detention, or in the case of a suspect who has been investigated without being held in custody, from the moment charges have been pressed against the suspect (article 57). But resistance to allowing access to lawyers is still ingrained. Some lawyers complained to Human Rights Watch that investigators attempt to block access to suspects in custody by conflating these two parts of article 57, and claiming that access may be granted only after the suspect in custody has been formally charged. However, article 116 allows the procuracy to extend the period of inquiry for up to two months, thus delaying the pressing of formal charges while the detainee is in custody.

Once the investigator has completed the preliminary investigation of the case, composed a concluding report that includes evidence,102 the defense may examine the case materials that have not been previously seen. The defense can petition the investigator to collect further exculpatory evidence in the case, but the procuracy investigator handling the case has the discretion to accept or deny requests for further gathering of such evidence at that time, including forensic medical examinations, and retains that exclusive power up until the case is sent to court. The investigator's refusal can only be appealed to a higher level procuracy official.

Azerbaijani law also provides that detainees may sign statements stating that they agree to be represented by state-appointed lawyers provided ostensibly free of charge. In practice, the police frequently obtain these documents under duress. Family members complained that the state-appointed lawyers, who are employees of the government and who are assigned to them by police or procuracy investigators, frequently do not work in the detainee's interest or request payment for their services.

The criminal procedure code's treatment of witnesses also raises alarm. The code gives the procuracy and police investigator the power to compel witnesses to present themselves and to give testimony (articles 70 and 170)103 and makes refusal to testify a criminal offense under article 181 of the criminal code, but witnesses are not accorded the right to a lawyer while in police custody. Human Rights Watch found that police coerced false testimony from witnesses that was intended to corroborate coerced testimony from a suspect.

The Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers guarantees all those who are in police custody the right to consult with a lawyer-even if they are neither under suspicion nor have been charged with a crime. Principle 8 states that, "All arrested, detained, or imprisoned persons shall be provided with adequate opportunities, time and facilities to bevisited by and to communicate and consult with a lawyer, without delay, interception or censorship and in full confidentiality." It is essential that witnesses be accorded this right: the criminal procedure codes' failure to provide it facilitates conditions under which witnesses can be coerced to give false testimony.

Lack of Commitment to Accountability

To the degree that they recognized it at all, Azerbaijani officials downplayed the occurrence of torture as "isolated incidents" for which they had brought the perpetrators to justice; they categorically denied that police abuse was widespread. Senior officials in Procuracy General, which has oversight responsibility for Ministry of Internal Affairs personnel, in fact show little commitment to investigating the many allegations of ill-treatment against the police or their own investigators.

The procuracy receives written and oral complaints from members of the public, and is supposed to review and investigate complaints forwarded by the Ministry of Internal Affairs or lodged by detainees, lawyers, human rights organizations, and the accounts of detainee abuse that surface in the news media. In practice, the Minister of Internal Affairs rarely forwards complaints and the procuracy rarely performs a criminal investigation of the allegations, and even less frequently prosecutes them.

The small number of cases that have been investigated have led to few instances of prosecution, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs' own statistics. Although the criminal code makes it a criminal offense under article 177 to compel testimony from a suspect or witness by application of threats or other "illegal actions" on the part of an investigator, lack of commitment on the part of the procuracy and senior Ministry of Internal Affairs officials to investigate and to prosecute allegations of physical abuse sends a clear message to lower level officials that torture is tolerated and even encouraged during investigations in order to suppress opposition to the government and to lower the crime rate.

Statistics provided by the minister of internal affairs show that criminal cases were opened against seventeen members of the force in Baku for various infractions, of which only two were related to physical abuse.104 Moreover, there is no indication that the ministry has increased its efforts to investigate and prosecute torture or police brutality. These statistics show that two staff members in Baku were prosecuted in 1996, while three were prosecuted in 1995. The government does investigate and prosecute officers alleged to have committed infractions, and even brutality, but official statistics show this response is relatively infrequent. Given the pervasive complaints Human Rights Watch encountered of mistreatment and brutality, it is unlikely that the paucity of vigorous investigations has fostered impunity for such abuse.

Regarding disciplinary actions taken against the police, according to Azerbaijani government statistics, 2,398 police officials were subject to disciplinary action in 1998, while 2,537 were in 1997. It is not clear what role, if any, physical abuse against detainees played in these disciplinary actions, as the categories listed by the government for types of offense included "disgraceful behavior," "violations during consideration of citizen's complaints," and "other violations;" none specifically addressed physical abuse of detainees.105

But the perpetrators of some of the worst cases of abuse Human Rights Watch researched have not been held accountable. When Human Rights Watch raised the case of Samir Zulfuqarov, a Baku resident who had been beaten to death in the Yasamal district police department, Procuracy General officials attempted to discredit Zulfuqarov by stating he was a drug addict with a heart condition. They said that a medical examination had concluded that Zulfuqarov had sustained these injuries by banging his head on the window bars of his cell.106 However, this issupported neither by the medical examiner's report shown to Human Rights Watch, which stated merely the cause of death as traumatic shock and internal bleeding, nor by testimony by Hussein Zulfuqarov, Samir's father, who saw his son's body in the morgue.107 Zulfuqarov told Human Rights Watch that one of the three policemen who arrested his son was in fact investigated and detained in Bail SIzo for three months, but subsequently released. Amnesty International reported in July 1999 that an official had been tried in the case, but was acquitted after he testified that the death occurred in another police station.108

This kind of impunity also leaves police who have committed abuses at large to threaten complainants and witnesses. Zulfuqarov noted that as of November 1997, two of the police officers who arrested his son and demanded bribes from him continue to work at the Yasamal district police station. He added that he has been threatened by police demanding he cease his complaints about his son's death in custody lest his younger son also be arrested.

As detailed above, Human Rights Watch received numerous allegations that Mammed Mikayilov, a senior Gorotdel official, personally participated in beatings of detainees during questioning. Yet officials of General Procuracy told Human Rights Watch investigators that as of November 21, 1997, they had received no complaints regarding Mikayilov and that he continued to work at the Gorotdel.

At their trial, at least six OPON members charged in the 1995 coup attempt alleged that Adil Ismailov, chief of the Ministry of Internal Affairs group investigating the case, had taken part in their torture. The Ministry of Internal Affairs vigorously denied this, and the procuracy launched no investigation. In August 1997, Ismailov was fired from the ministry and sentenced to three years' imprisonment on rape and other charges.109

One procuracy official assured Human Right Watch investigators that, "In the twenty years I've worked here [the procuracy] I have not received even one complaint that [procuracy officials] have beaten someone." Procuracy officials also maintained that although Ministry of Internal Affairs personnel are occasionally guilty of physical abuse against detainees, that such actions are investigated and punished.110

But even during the Human Rights Watch mission in November 1997, Nina Ushenko, a Baku resident and adherent to the Jehovah's Witness faith, told Human Rights Watch investigators that from November 13 to November 20, 1997, at least five individuals were beaten during several questioning sessions at the Baku City Procuracy by a procuracy investigator she identified as Shakhin Ismailzade.111 Ushenko said that she, along with approximately ten others, had been called to Ismailzade's office over a period of several days to answer questions regarding the activities of Jehovah's Witnesses in Azerbaijan. She said that Ismailzade threatened her and other adherents with the intention of forcing them to renounce their faith, and that he had beaten five other adherents to the faith during the questioning sessions. The individuals include Aleksandr Ushenko, a twenty-seven-year-old Baku resident, who was later charged with attempting to bribe a public official. Others included Rovshan Mursalov, who on November 20 was called in for questioning. Mursalov told Human Rights Watch that he had been beaten on the ears and that he sought medical help at Ambulatory Hospital Number 4.112

The Baku City Procurator later wrote to Human Rights Watch to report that a review had been conducted and the allegations were determined to be unfounded. However, the rigor and impartiality of the investigation might be questioned, given that one of the alleged victims was treated at a hospital which kept records of the case.

86 Article 15 of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, reads: "Each party shall ensure in its legal system that any statement which is established to have been made as a result of torture shall not be invoked as evidence in any proceedings, except against a person accused of torture as evidence that the statement was made."

87 Amnesty International, "Azerbaijan: Time to Abolish the Death Penalty," London, March 1997, EUR 55/02/97.

88 Human Rights Watch interview with Elton Guliyev, Baku, November 20, 1997.

89 Human Rights Watch interview with Khanlar Hajiev, November 14, 1997.

90 Ibid.

91 Ibid.

92 Amnesty International, "Azerbaijan: Time to Abolish the Death Penalty."

93 Human Rights Watch interview with Rauf Abdulayev, Baku, November 11, 1997. All other citations on this case emanate from this interview.

94 Under the Azerbaijani criminal procedure code, detaining officials must inform relatives of the detainee's whereabouts (article 93). Detaining officials are also obliged keep written records of a detainee's presence in a facility (article 121).

95 Human Rights Watch interview, Baku, November 13, 1997. At the time of the interview, Hajiev was the chairman of the Supreme Court; currently, he is chairman of Azerbaijan's Constitutional Court.

96 Emphasis added. Under article 237 of the criminal procedure code, once a case is handed over to a court, a judge has five days within which to decide if a case should be heard, returned for further investigation, or closed; judicial planning sessions have seven days to make this determination. Under the same article, a judge must hold a planning session (rasporyaditelnoye zasedaniye) in certain cases, including, inter alia, those in which it is necessary to change to restraining measure for the accused. Judges or judicial planning sessions rule on a number of issues including, inter alia, whether the case should be sent back to the procuracy for further investigation, whether the case should go to trial, the legality of custody and petitions to the court. The judge has seven days within which to hold the planning session from the day he received the case from the procuracy. Under article 256, if a judge decides that the case should go to trial, the case must be heard no later than fifteen days after the judge has decided that the case should be heard.

97 Also applicable is the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for Non-custodial Measures, adopted by General Assembly resolution 45/110 of December 14, 1990. Rule 6.1 states: "Pre-trial detention shall be used as a means of last resort in criminal proceedings, with due regard for the investigation of the alleged offence and for the protection of society and the victim." Rule 6.2 states: "Alternatives to pre-trial detention shall be employed at as early a stage as possible."

98 The case investigator may be from the procuracy, Ministry of Internal Affairs, or Ministry of National Security, depending on the type of crime.

99 Articles 181-188 of the criminal procedure code set out the investigator's powers and responsibilities.

100 Council of Europe lawyers stated in their November 1997 report that detainees do not have access to judicial review of their detentions or access to any other external complaint mechanism during the entire time of their detention. They noted that the European Convention requires that detainees be brought promptly before a judge, and stated in their conclusions that an external complaint mechanism should be put into place. Rudolph Bernhardt and Marek A. Nowicki, Report on the Conformity of the Legal Order of Azerbaijan with Council of Europe Standards, (Strasbourg: September 19, 1997), p. 21.

101 "Defence (Criminal Procedure)," Encyclopedia of Soviet Law, edited by F.J.M. Feldbrugge, Oceana Publications, Inc, Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., 1973, pg. 211.

102 In Russian the concluding report is the obvinitelnoe zaklyucheniye.

103 Article 170-1 states that investigators summon witnesses. Article 170-4 states: "The summons must indicate: whom is being summoned as a witness, where and to whom, the day and hour of the appearance, and the consequences for not appearing, under article 70 of the present Code. Article 70 states: "For declining to appear or refusing to testify, the witness and victim shall be held accountable under article 181 of the [criminal code] . . .."

104 Letter and statistics sent to Human Rights Watch by the Minister of Internal Affairs on March 18, 1998, are attached in their entirety in Annex 1.

105 See Annex 3, letter from the government of Azerbaijan to Human Rights Watch, reproduced in its entirety .

106 Human Rights Watch interview, Baku, November 21, 1997.

107 See above, p. 20.

108 Cited in Amnesty International, Report 1999 (London: Amnesty International Publications, July 1999), p. 86.

109 Adil Ismailov allegedly raped the mother of a suspect. Ismailov was at least aware that certain defendants were beaten. According to Osman Kazimov, a defense attorney, Ismailov was present when he saw his badly beaten client, Abulfaz Kerimov, at the Baku City Police Department holding facility in March 1996. In fact, Ismailov, who remained in the meeting room together with Ilgar Malyshev (another police investigator) would not allow Kazimov to see Kerimov in private. According to Kazimov, Kerimov's bruises, cuts, and swollen hands were in plain view.

110 Human Rights Watch interview, Baku, November 21, 1997.

111 Human Rights Watch interview with Nina Ushenko, Baku, November 22, 1997.

112 Human Rights Watch interview with Rovshan Mursalov, Baku, October 21, 1998.

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