Azerbaijan: 2009 Rafto laureate’s husband seriously beaten

Malahat Nasibova said her husband Ilgar Nasibov, right, and “Democracy and NGO development Resource Center” employee Vafadar Eyvazov suffer from rib fractures. The two men were trying to arrange a seminar in Nakhchivan State University to combat widespread corruption at the University but some fifty students of Sport faculty dragged them out and beat heavily.

Read the statement of South Caucacus Network of Human Rights Defenders here.

Ilgar Nasibov and Vafadar Eyvazov, both employees of the Nakhchivan-based “Democracy and NGO Development Resource Center”, 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.

Doctors refused aid
Malahat Nasibova, 2009 Rafto award-winning journalist (torchlight procession following the award ceremony on the picture) of Azerbaijani service of RFE/RL, 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”.

Impunity
With its grave human rights violations, Nakhchivan (colored yellow on the map) remains to be the most infamous and authoritarian region of Azerbaijan, sometimes referred to as "Azerbaijan’s North Korea".

The human rights and opposition activists in Nakhchivani 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.

2009 Rafto award-winner 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.

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