Nakhchivan's activists attacked | Den norske Helsingforskomité

Nakhchivan's activists attacked

(16/12-2009) Two employees of the Nakhchivan-based “Democracy and NGO Development Resource Center” were attacked and seriously beaten by an orchestrated group of athletic mobsters on 15 December. Both NGO activists, Ilgar Nasibov and Vafadar Eyvazov were trying to arrange a seminar in the University as part of the project funded by the Norwegian Embassy to combat widespread corruption at Nakhchivan State University. At that time, a group of some fifty sportsmen studying at Sport faculty of the University urged the activists to leave the University campus. When refused, the sportsmen dragged out the activists and fell them down and beat them heavily.
Malahat Nasibova, 2009 Rafto award-winning journalist of «Azadliq» radio (Azerbaijani service of RFERL), who also heads the “Democracy and NGO development Resource Center”, said her husband Ilgar Nasibov and employee Vafadar Eyvazov suffer from rib fractures caused by heavy injuries on abdominal cavity and spine.

Nasibova said the doctors refused to render medical aid, though both activists were hospitalized. She believes the doctors were intimidated by local officials to stay away from providing medical help to the activists.

Nasibova’s complaint letter on identifying and punishing the assailants was also not accepted by the Nakhchivan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs, which said the “working time had finished when Nasibova submitted the complain letter”.

With its grave human rights violations, Nakhchivan remains to be the most infamous and authoritarian region of Azerbaijan. The human rights and opposition activists in Nakhchivan still continue to face numerous incidents of politically-motivated orchestrated mob attacks, physical harassment and intimidation that clearly appear to be instigated by the incumbent authorities to stifle the dissent. In all such cases, the perpetrators continue to enjoy virtual impunity.

Civil society groups in Nakhchivan operate under severe restrictions, and activists cooperating with or working for international organisations face threats, persecution and arrest under fabricated charges.

Malahat Nasibova and her husband, Ilgar Nasibov are two of the few outspoken journalists reporting regularly on the human rights situation in Nakhchivan for «Azadliq» radio (Azerbaijani service of RFERL) and opposition’s «Turan» news agency. Both have faced many vicious pressures ranging from physical attack to home search and detention in past years. The local government in Nakhchivan extensively relies on the security forces and police to prevent and control any signs of public dissent and to crush government critics.