ПИСЬМО ОБЩЕСТВЕННОСТИ ВСЕХ СТРАН В СВЯЗИ С АРЕСТОМ ЛИДЕРА ТАЛЫШЕЙ В БАКУ

14 Декабря 2012

Dear friends,

It is clear that the authoritarian regime of the Azerbaijan Republic had trumped up charges against the Editor-in- chief of the newspaper "Tolishi Sado", a human rights defender and scientist-mathematician, Mr. Hilal Mammadov and arrested him. First, an accusation of using and selling drugs was brought against him, then after three days he was accused of spying in favor of a foreign country and inciting national discrimination. The on-going judicial investigation against Hilal Mammadov was recently finalized and an "indictment" was issued to him. With regard to this indictment, and as a response to the all the groundless accusations drawn against him in the issued "indictment", Dr. Hilal Mammadov has made an open statement for the public in which he is rejecting all that is provided in the "indictment". Taking into account that there will be a closed court session for Hilal Mammadov's case, it is necessary to bring this statement to the public's attention.

With best regards,

Atakhan Abilov,
Human rights defender, Expert on International Law

Hilal Mammadov's statement

The Decision on the "indictment" compiled and signed by Gurban Safarov, Chief Justice Consultant and the Chief Investigator on Special and Grave Concerns, from the Department for Grave Crime under the General Prosecutor's office of the Azerbaijan Republic, was declared to me by the member of the investigation group Gasim Mammadov, with the participation of the lawyer Khalid Bagirov on 23rd of November, 2012, at 13:00 pm.

That decision consists of text from the decision announced to me on July 3, 2012 and two pages of an amendment. It is obvious that my right to presumption of innocence was seriously violated through the joint statements made on July 3, 2012 by the press service department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and General Prosecutor. At that time, although the investigation process had just begun, news of it was openly publicized on July 4, 2012 through mass media. Because all the accusations in the initial indictment (as of 03.07.2012) as well as in the joint statements of the MIA and the General Prosecutor were quite nonsensical and were compromised of outrageous lies and slander, I made an appeal to the court of the Sabail district and the first Baku Administrative-economical court, but no measures were taken on the issue. This leads me to the conclusion that my arrest and the slanderous accusations against me were intentionally planned.

But, what do these 2 pages of amendments say?

Answer: The same accusations brought against the professor N.Mammadov, whose rights were defended by me in 2007, were brought against me without even changing the dots and commas in the text. In addition, two more false accusations were brought against me, but with the opinions of the investigative body expressing anti-human and anti-ethnic policy. For example: As if "I committed a high treason" by documenting the thoughts of "Armenian and the Talysh belonging to the same Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family, they are blood brothers or etc" sometime in 2008.

As if "on the dates of 15.05.2008, 21.06.2008, 23.08.2008, 07.10.2009 and after these periods, I periodically gave false and partial interviews on the compass program on the TV channel Sahar -2 of the Iran Islamic Republic. The supposed content of these interviews focused on the poor living conditions of the Talysh people, infringement of their rights, and their exposure to assimilation as a result of Intentional policy and its implementation by the Azerbaijani authorities, and the writing of information to be disseminated by mass-media through appeals containing elements encouraging the establishment of a separate state by the Talysh".

The second content of the indictment contains the same apartheid ideas that were brought against the professor N.Mammadov. It is purported that I was given an assignment from the Iran special services "requesting a building for office space for the Talysh cultural center", "to open a branch of the center in the districts of Astara, Lenkoran, Lerik and Massali where Talysh are compactly living", "to hold an international conference on ethnos of the Talysh in Baku through inviting scientists from Iran, Russia and Europe", "helping people of Talysh ethnicity become employed in Ministries of Internal affair, Defense and National Security", "helping people to become elected as a deputy to Parliament and etc."

The remainder part of the indictment contains the same opinions similar to the aforementioned.

Surely, those raise several questions:

1) Isn't it the obligation of the government of Azerbaijan to open the branch and provide the office space for the Talysh cultural center?

2) Is it a crime to hold a conference on Talysh issues?

3) Representation of people of Talysh ethnicity in the national parliament and their employment by Ministry of National Security, Defense and other ministries: a) is it a crime?; b) if people of Talysh ethnicity are employed by these entities, then are these people employed through the support of the Iran Special Services?!

4) To communicate an idea supporting that the Armenian language belongs to the Indo-European language family, and their integration into Iranian culture, as well as close relations to the Talysh language (though I have never written any article or said a word about it), can it be construed as a "high treason"?

5) All interviews on the aforementioned dates taken by the "compass "program were uploaded onto the YouTube site by me or my colleagues in order to ensure transparency and publicize for the broader internet viewers. Can this be construed as crime? What expressions or words articulated by me are against our state? Or as it is mentioned in the indictment "voicing opinions against authorities", does it mean being against the state? Is criticizing the authorities considered as a crime against the state? Does it mean that the authorities consider our state their own property?

6) My notes in the flash card ( taken on the date of 21.06.2012 from my apartment) calling up my students to be highly educated, be free in expression of their speech and compact against corruption and bribery and etc.. , is it a crime?

7) Or, encouraging people to establish an autonomy (both in Azerbaijan as well as in Iran) through "my appeal to Talysh people" which was included by the experts or by the investigation officer in my flash card , is it a crime?. Why did these unprofessional and illiterate people who added a file to my flash card not open my flash card in the presence of my lawyer? Does it mean that these illiterate SLANDERERS are trying to cheat or make fun of me - a scientist mathematic, a person who teaches computer information? These unprofessional illiterate people don't know that it is impossible to backdate the information in a computer and that is why they will not allow me and my lawyer to know when they added their words or expressions.

8) Why is it considered a high treason when I asked someone to translate a book related to the Talysh people from Persian into Azerbaijani Turkish language?

9) Why is it a crime to have a book written by a French scientist about the Talysh people translated too?

10) If I was able to publish 10-12 editions of the newspaper in total during 2009-20011 when I became the editor-in-chief after the death of professor N.Mamadov, following the directions of his will and through an election in the official gathering of the Talysh cultural center: a) why were over 100 editions of the newspaper printed and sent out to Iran till 2008?, b) Why has the so-called, " I have made an article against the state in that newspaper" become an issue now? I headed the newspapers and published articles only after the death of the deceased N.Mamadov.

11) Was it me who published the "the Talysh" and " the Talsyh vestnik" ( Talysh news) newspaper in S.Petersburg city? Couldn't the dishonored investigator just look at the last pages of the newspapers of both the "Talysh" and the "Talysh vestnik" to find out where these newspapers, which were published through the financial support of Iran and distributed to the Talysh people living in Russia and sent to Iran , were published and who the editor of these newspapers was? If these newspapers are published in Russia (even let's suppose that they are published through financial support from Iran) and sent out to Iran, then what made the authorities of Azerbaijan and the investigators have concern? Why did Talysh newspapers published in a foreign country cause the Azerbaijani Authorities to be concerned? Does it mean that this nation is their own property?

Today, by referring to the 100 nonsenses mentioned in this four page indictment, I am turning to Hadi Rajabli. The man who said that "there is no pressure on the Talysh, I am an example to this, sitting in Parliament, there are also other deputies in Parliament from that region". I am also asking: Dear Hadi Rajabli why did you keep silent when the fingers of the seventy year old professor and scientist N.Mammadov were broken in the Ministry of National Security? His fingers had compiled and worked out the Talysh dictionary and researched the Talysh language and culture in the 60-70s of the last century. When these fingers of the only Talysh researcher in the world were busy, at that time the border with Iran was firmly controlled in a way that even a bird could not penetrate through it. The Ali Abdoli was not even born when these fingers were delivering services to his people. Who was recruited by whom at that time? , Did Ali Abdoli recruit us? I personally, as a mathematic scientist dedicated many articles to the language of my people and folklore even in the 80s of the last century.

Did the "Sahar -2" TV channel or Ali Abdoli exist when world famous newspapers and journals published enlightened articles about Talysh people at that time? The students and youth who know us as a teacher and a scientist, can any of them say that we have ever taken a bribe from them? There are many people who witnessed that we have been making our living and social activities honestly (Halal) and even spent the last 100 dollars for charity work when we paid a short term visit to Iran and came back with an empty pocket.

All investigation officers as well as other law enforcement bodies are deeply engaged in bribery and corruption; does it mean that everyone is corrupt? Is the plundering of this country going to condemn us? Are these people who have replaced the words of home ,nation and honor with those words of "money" ,"title" and "ambition" and going to judge those who do not even have 5-10 manat in their pocket or the "narcobaron" (drug tsar ) who didn't have a penny in his pocket while was arrested?

I can bring up many other questions... It has been ten years since the country has taken obligation with the PACE on ratification of law on national minorities (!!!). Why do the Talysh sitting in Parliament not say anything about it? This law was to have been ratified till 2003. The state had officially signed for this obligation, but the European conventions on "protecting the rights of the domestic animals" was adopted immediately by the parliament after the state took the obligation. Does it mean that the Talysh and other minorities cannot be granted a basic right that is granted to the domestic animals and the sexual minorities. Even the sexual minorities are granted with basic rights but our turn didn't arrive.

I would like to ask one question to the Talysh people working with the law enforcement body ,legislative body or occupied other official positions. During 1993-2012 ,since the last 20 years ,have any of you ever participated at any event or gathering dedicated to Talysh language ,culture or folklore? Only once in 1992, one of the initiators, who is the author of this sentence, organized an "event of Talysh folklore" participated by 1000 people who enjoyed the national cultural creativity of this people. And what happen then?

20 years has passed since that time and neither the Talysh cultural center nor the Talyshi Sado newspaper has an office space. If a concern is voiced about it then we are either the spy of Iran or Russia. Why? Didn't they tire of telling stories to the European "caviar-lovers" about "support" to the Talysh cultural center? Why, after 20 years, when I organized the "event on Talysh folklore" on 13th of June, 20012 in the Astara district and invited journalists from the TV channel of NTV, then I became a "narcobaron" (drug tsar) on 21st of June and then became "spy of Iran" and "separatist" on July 3rd of 2012?

In March of 2007, when I was interrogated as a witness by the Ministry of National Security related to Novruzali Mamamdov's case ,I asked them: why do they oppress us and not allow us to have our basic rights? Why can the Talysh people not hold a conference in Baku? The assistant of the interrogator firmly struck his fist on the table and said: (God as my witnesses!) "Hilal, why don't we? You can speak, sing and shout in your own language as much as you wish, and hold a conference, but do you know where? Only in Yeravan! But not here, in Baku or in Lenkoran, we will never allow you, because, next you will demand more". I got angry and answered: the chicken are counted in autumn (the future will show) ,the conference and event dedicated to the Talysh people will be held soon! Then they started to make fun of me and said, "go and organize, we will see how many Talysh will attend the event" . Honestly confessing, when the YouTube video hit "who are you, come on, go away" (filmed in the wedding in Tengerud village where I was born) became a boom in Russia, it was a scientific experience for me. I used the opportunity initiated to organize an event dedicated to Talysh folklore on June 13th and it happened. Surely, I was warned with demand not to have held the event (even was threatened to be killed). I could leave the country but waited to be arrested or killed.

This is my story, mister investigators, prosecutors, judges and all Talysh holding posts in government's offices.

Therefore, when the investigator Qasim Mammadov presented the final indictment to me and asked me to write my notes in 1-2 sentences,I have noted the followings on the indictment and on other documents. "As the indictment contains false accusations and slander and is made by persons who are against the state of Azerbaijan Republic , I am straightly rejecting its contents! Therefore , I consider it humiliation ( for honor and dignity) to give testimony to the enemy of my country and nation. God willing (inshallah) I will meet you in the future democratic and legal court of the Azerbaijan Republic (surely, we will have different function)".

I am asking a question to the honest people who will read these lines. Who is a "spy", "narcobaron"(drug tsar) or "separatist"? Me or those who convicted us???, I consider these people must be convicted of a crime according to the entire chapter of the criminal code of the Azerbaijan Republic "crimes against PEACE and HUMANITY", and we are intended to continue struggling for free ,democratic Azerbaijan with the law respected.

The life is given and can be taken by God! The nations are created and can be destroyed by God!

Sincerely,

Hilal Mamadov, with considering the world as a jail for myself

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