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Criminal

JUDGE FREED COSIGNER ARRESTED FOR DEBT

The Azeri Times

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On 25 October, the Baku Court of Appeal looked into a complaint filed by Lala Bunyatova, co-signatory of a loan agreement, who had been arrested for debt on orders from AtaBank. Bunyatova had filed the complaint after the Sabunchu District Court issued a warrant for her arrest. Judge Mirzali Abbasov, who looked into the case, released Bunyatova from the courtroom.

Meydan TV learnt about this from Akram Hasanov, Bunyatova’s defence lawyer. He said that the judge found that the arrest warrant issued by the Sabunchu district court resulted from an improper investigation:

“This is the first time in the history of this country that an arrest caused by debt has been repealed. I congratulate everyone. We are about to prove that we are a civilized society, not barbarians.”

On 20 October, following the warrant issued by the Sabunchu District Court, Lala Bunyatova was put under arrest for a period of 10 days. She had served as a co-signer for a loan from AtaBank and the principal borrower failed to pay his debts of 8,701 manat (4,363 euro). According to Akram Hasanov, judge Suleyman Aghayev issued the warrant for Bunyatova after AtaBank failed to locate the main signatory of the loan. The defence lawyer further stated:

“It is not possible for an unemployed person to pay a debt. One just cannot say that this person is guilty in any way.”

There are currently 31 banks operating in Azerbaijan. As of 1 September, these banks had a total of 5,720,291 customers and more than 2,428,000 of them have loan accounts. Their overdue debts to the banks amount to more than 1.824bn manat (914bn euro), which is 15% of all loans.

Gubad Ibadoghlu, an economist and chairman of the Azerbaijani Democracy and Prosperity Movement, says this means that debt is a matter of concern for every third citizen:

“According to the latest information, the amount of overdue debt is higher than the banks’ dedicated back-up (i.e. higher than 1,635,700,000 manats, or 820mn euro) which is meant to cover possible losses caused by loans. This means that the amount of debt on overdue loans has crossed the red line. In reality, it has long been at a critical level.”

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Azerbaijan

Beaten to death at police station

The Azeri Times

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On 25 September, a resident of Gazakh in northwestern Azerbaijan, 37-year-old Elmir Mirza oghlu Akhundov, died at a local police station. According to his sister, Ulviyya Akhundova, he was beaten to death. Akhundova posted a series of photos showing her brother’s badly bruised body on Facebook.

The Azerbaijani Committee Against Torture told Open.az that, on the evening prior to his death, Akhundov had been in a fight with a member of a volunteer civilian law enforcement group called Public Police Support (Polisə İctimai Dəstək), in which Akhundov broke two of his opponent’s teeth. According to his sister, on the following day Akhundov was picked up by the police when he went out to buy cigarettes.

“As soon as I heard about it I went to the police department, but they wouldn’t let me in” Akhundova told Meydan TV. “A short time later an ambulance arrived. I asked what happened, but they wouldn’t tell me anything….They said somebody had had a brawl inside the police department and that was why the doctor had arrived. A short time later the hospital called to tell me that my brother had been beaten and killed and to ask me to come and take him away.”

According to Akhundova, her brother’s wrist, arm, hand, and leg were broken, and rocks were embedded in lacerations on his knees. She believes that her brother was beaten to death by the police, an accusation which the Gazakh district police department denies. Nevertheless, the Gazakh district prosecutor’s office has opened a criminal investigation into manslaughter and hooliganism.

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Azerbaijan

Special operation in Khachmaz: Terrorist neutralised

The Azeri Times

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The State Security Service (SSS) of Azerbaijan conducted a special operation, during which a member of a radical extremist group, who had been planning terrorist acts in the northern regions of the country, was killed. This is reported by the Centre for Public Relations of the State Security Service.

Information received that Najafov Nizami Adil oglu acquired weapons and explosives was confirmed as a result of investigations, after which the staff of the SSS and the prosecutor’s office started emergency measures.

As a result of the operation on disarming and bringing to justice Nizami Najafov, which took place on August 28 in Khachmaz district, the criminal refused to surrender and offered armed resistance by opening fire from a rifle.

As a result of the use of response fire from the staff of the SSS from service weapons Nizami Najafov was killed.

During the inspection of the scene near the body of Nizami Najafov, an AKSU assault rifle, ammunition to it, as well as an explosive device made by handicraft were discovered.

Operational and investigative measures are continuing.

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Criminal

Shadowy killings of participants of Ganja Protests continues long after the events

The Azeri Times

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According to the information by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, a resident of Ganja, Rahimov Muraz Chapay oglu, was killed during a special police operation. Police received a tip where the criminal was hiding.

According to officials, Rahimov ignored the repeated calls of the police to lay down his arms and surrender. Instead he opened fire on law enforcement officers. Police had to use service weapons, and during the response fire the offender was killed.

Rahimov is the 6th person killed during special police operations. So far 6 killed, 61 arrested and 12 declared wanted. Many criticize Government for using the Ganja events to go after the targeted religious groups. Some even speculate that the bloody protest was staged as a bait by the Government itself to go after the ones who would rise up against the regime.

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