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Released Political Prisoner Fired From Work in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijani political prisoner Abid Gafarov, who was released from prison last week, was fired from his job at an oil company. Gafarov considers this a violation of his right to life, sustenance and health. In his opinion, the Azerbaijani authorities are behind this. In order to find a job and feed his family, Gafarov is considering leaving the country.

Immediately after his release from prison, Gafarov learned that he had been fired from his job at the BP oil company. In a conversation with a Turan correspondent, the former political prisoner said that in connection with the verdict entered against him on December 6, 2022, in accordance with part C of paragraph 1 of Article 71 of the Labor Code, his was terminated. After his release from prison, the company denied him reinstatement.

According to the activist, this is a violation of his rights to life, food and health: “The minimum consumer basket set by the government per person is 200 manats (about $120). There are 6 people in our family, so we need 1200 manats (about $720) to survive. However, now, after I was deprived of my job, we were left without a means of subsistence.”

Gafarov expressed the belief that the Azerbaijani authorities were behind his dismissal and refusal to reinstate him in his job.

“Now I am consulting with my family. Probably we will find a way out of the situation in leaving Azerbaijan.”

The publication notes that Gafarov is a specialist in the automation of production and technological processes in the oil sector, and has worked in the oil and gas and energy sectors of Azerbaijan for about 30 years.

Why was Gafarov arrested?

Abid Gafarov was arrested on July 13, 2022. He was sued by a group of veterans of the Karabakh war. They claimed that Gafarov insulted and slandered them.

By a court decision, Gafarov was sentenced to a year in prison under Articles 147 (libel) and 148 (insult) of the Criminal Code. He received 6 months in prison for each count.

According to human rights activists, the real reason for the persecution of Gafarov were his video reports exposing crimes against a large group of military men convicted of allegedly spying for Armenia in the scandalous “Terter case” in 2017. He published his research on the KİM.TV YouTube channel.

On June 1, 2023, Gafarov was released ahead of schedule, with a reduced sentence.

Arrest despite plaintiffs’ waiver of application

The applicants in the Gafarov case were several veterans of the second Karabakh war. According to them, speaking at a court hearing on May 27, 2022, Abid Gafarov called the war veterans “obedient”, which offended them.

But later, these same veterans stated in court that a gentleman’s agreement was concluded between the parties and they had no complaints against Gafarov.

Veterans of the war, officially recognized as plaintiffs, wrote a corresponding statement about the withdrawal of the claim. Despite this, Judge Tarlan Akperov, who was in charge of this case, decided to refer the case to the Yasamal District Court.

Source: JAM News