Top Azerbaijani prosecutor admits torture of Azerbaijanis in "Terter case" took place

Khanlar Valiyev, the top military prosecutor of Azerbaijan, admitted at a press conference on 1 November that reports about the torture of 100 or so Azerbaijanis in 2017 were true.

In 2017, Azerbaijani authorities announced that they had uncovered a network of soldiers and civilians working for the Armenian secret services, leading to dozens of arrests, particularly in the Terter region. This gave rise to the “Terter case”, in which a number of allegations were made by Human rights organisations, accusing Azerbaijan of the widespread torture. A OMCT report from earlier this year alleges 78 people were detained and sentenced to between 12 and 20 years in prison, with 11 dying in captivity in a “serious human rights violation”. A similar report by The Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) concluded that torture was “system and endemic” in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijani authorities have long denied these claims; in May, Valiyev called the allegations “unfounded noise.”

However, Valiyev chose to reveal on Monday that over 100 people suspected of high treason had indeed been subjected to various forms of physical violence in the course of the investigation. He added that as a result, one person died, and that illegal torture of military was carried out “on a large scale”. 

He further stated that “this is a black spot for every Azerbaijani. The owner of this stain does not want to be the parent of the child. But what can be done? This has happened before. Such people were fought, prosecuted and brought to justice. Otherwise, if our army had not been cleansed, perhaps we would have been in a very bad situation and could not have won this victory”.

According to the press conference, Valiyev launched a criminal case “immediately” after finding out about the “massive illegal torture of servicemen”, as a result of which some were evacuated to a central hospital and the lives of many were saved. Furthermore, he noted that those responsible were being held to account, with 16 officers prosecuted and convicted for “long terms”, and their appeals had been denied. 

source: and agencies
photo: Valiyev; APA TV