Rapid Action Network – RAN 01/2017
Der internationale PEN ist zutiefst besorgt darüber, dass der Schriftsteller und Blogger Rashad Ramazanov am 23. Januar im Gefänis Nr.2 in Baku, wo er eine neunjährige Haftstrafe verbüßt, in Isolationshaft genommen wurde. Er war zu der Haftstrafe verurteilt worden, weil er in seinen Texten Kritik an der Regierung geübt hatte. Zudem werden ihm derzeit Familienbesuch und das Recht auf einen Anwalt verweigert. Ramazanov leidet an einer Reihe von medizinischen Problemen und der internationale PEN hat ernsthafte Sorgen um sein Wohlergehen. Der PEN geht davon aus, dass die Bestrafung Ramazanovs nur politisch motiviert ist und fordert seine unmittelbare und bedingungslose Freilassung.
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Schreiben Sie Protestbriefe:
- Drücken Sie Ihre Sorge um die Gesundheit und das Wohlergehen des Schriftstellers Rashad Ramazanov aus, der in Einzelhaft sitzt und keinen Zugang zu seiner Familie und seinem Anwalt hat.
- Protestieren Sie gegen die politisch motivierte Anklage und fordern Sie die aserbaidschanischen Behörden auf, ihn sofort und bedingungslos frei zu lassen
- Fordern Sie die aserbaidschanischen Behörden auf, Einschüchterungskampagnen gegen die Opposition oder andere kritische Stimmen einzustellen und die Verpflichtungen aus Artikel 10 der Europäischen Menschenrechtskonvention und Artikel 19 des Internationalen Pakts über bürgerliche und politische Rechte einzuhalten, um das Recht auf freie Meinungsäußerung zu schützen.
Schreiben Sie an:
S.E. den Botschafter von Aserbaidschan
Herrn Ramin Hasanov
Botschaft der Republik Aserbaidschan
Hintergrund (bereitgestellt vom internationalen PEN)
Writer and blogger Rashad Ramazanov (pen-name Rashad Hagigat Agaaddin) was arrested on 9 May 2013 and sentenced to nine years in prison on charges of ‘illegal possession and sale of drugs’ (Article 234.4.3 of the Criminal Code). Ramazanov is well-known for his anti-government postings, and PEN International considers the charges against him to be politically motivated. There is a clear pattern of the Azerbaijani authorities using charges of drugs or firearms possession, ‘hooliganism’ or tax evasion to arrest and imprison writers and journalists who criticise the authorities.
Rashad Ramazanov was arrested near the ‘20 January’ metro station by officers from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and taken to the Department for Combating Organised Crime. The police claim to have found nine grams of heroin on his person, although he says it was planted by officers during his arrest, when he was also beaten up. Ramazanov also reports being tortured during interrogation. On 7 August 2013, his case was referred to the Baku Court of Grave Crimes and he was convicted and sentenced to nine years in prison on 13 November 2013. On 14 May 2014, Ramazanov’s appeal against his conviction was dismissed.
On 25 January 2017 Rashad Ramazanov’s wife, Konul Ismailova, reported that he is in a very bad situation. He has been punished with 15 days in solitary confinement that began on Monday 23 January 2017. The reason for this punishment is not yet known. On 24 January 2017 Konul Ismailova went to Prison Camp #2 in Baku where Rashad Ramazanov is being held, but prison officials did not permit her to see him. Ramazanov’s lawyer tried to see him as well and was also denied permission.
Ramazanov’s wife is very concerned for his well-being because the conditions are poor and he suffers from a number of health problems as a result of his imprisonment. Most serious is tuberculosis, which he contracted during a previous imprisonment in 2005, when he was arbitrarily detained without charge for several months by the Ministry of Internal Affairs for criticism of Haydar Aliyev, the then-ruler of Azerbaijan, in his book One Hundred Muslims.
Rashad Ramazanov, aged thirty-five, graduated in 2004 from Baku State University with a Masters degree in ecology before going on to study for a PhD in Philosophy, Sociology and Law from the Institute of National Sciences Academy of Azerbaijan. He is the author of seven books and many articles. His academic articles have been published by the National Sciences Academy of Azerbaijan and other institutes. He has also been an active and outspoken political commentator on social media, and has published articles critical of the government on his Facebook page under the pen-name of Rashad Haqiqat Agaddin (http://on.fb.me/12G0WJE). He reports receiving many warnings and threats from the authorities for his critical online writings, and has also received death threats from radical Islamist extremists in Baku for his liberal views. As a result of these threats he fled to Turkey in 2009 with his wife and one-year–old daughter. They returned to Azerbaijan a year later, but the threats resumed and he lived apart from his family until 2012 in order to protect them. His wife was heavily pregnant with their second child at the time of his 2013 arrest, and his son was born on 30 May 2013, 21 days after his arrest. His wife reports living under heavy surveillance, and the stress is having an impact on her health.
PEN’s work on Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan is undergoing an unprecedented crackdown on civil society. The challenges faced by opposition voices or critical journalists are severe and frequent, and include death threats, surveillance, judicial harassment and violence. Despite the much-lauded release of political prisoners in March 2016, the persecution of critical voices in Azerbaijan has accelerated in recent months. Currently, dozens of journalists and activists are behind bars for exercising their right to free expression in Azerbaijan. These issues, including the case of Rashad Ramazanov, were highlighted in PEN’s 2016 World Press Freedom Day campaign.
In August 2016 PEN International joined the Sports For Rights Coalition in a campaign calling for greater respect of human rights and freedom of expression in Azerbaijan and the immediate and unconditional release of political prisoners, including writers and journalists.