I received this appeal from my Talysh friends:
On February 27, Fakhraddin Aboszoda (Abbasov), the leader of the Talysh National Movement, a well-known scholar and journalist disappeared from Remand prison-6 in Kolomna (Russia). As it turned out later, on February 28, despite the official refusal of extradition, Aboszoda was extradited to Azerbaijan, where he is regarded as objectionable politician both for the authorities and for the opposition. We believe that, this was an abduction organized by the Azerbaijani special services, with the full connivance and, probably, consent of the Russian authorities and officials. Thus, Russia has violated the basic principle of fundamental human rights protection – that of non-refoulement (or the prohibition of refoulement). At the moment, we have no information about Fakhraddin Aboszoda’s whereabouts, nor do we know anything about his health condition or even whether he is alive. Not a single human rights activist in Azerbaijan shows interest in the issue. Apparently, the fear of persecution make them refrain from intervening. Lawyers, likewise, eschew this case. Numerous reports of international organizations (UN, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, etc.) contain conclusions about the systematic practice of torture and ill-treatment of prisoners in Azerbaijan. Thus, there is a serious risk of torture and ill-treatment, as well as danger of Fakhraddin Aboszoda’s life, in the absence of legal monitoring of Azerbaijani law enforcement authorities and special services’ actions, by lawyers or representatives of international organizations. Fakhraddin Aboszoda (Abbasov) is a well-known scholar, author of numerous works on the history of Talyshistan, the largest dictionaries of the Talyshi language, as well as Grammar of the Talyshi language. He was the editor of three Talyshi news-papers: Tolyshi Sado (1993-1995), Tolysh (2002-2004), and Shavnysht (2006-2008). It should be particularly noted that earlier, in Azerbaijan, the last two editors of the Tolyshi Sado newspaper – Novruzali Mamedov and Hilal Mamedov – had been arrested, accused of treason, and convicted on the trumped-up cases, Novruzali Menadov having died in Baku prison in 2009. We fear that Fakhraddin Aboszoda will repeat the fate of his colleagues. In 1993, Fakhraddin Aboszoda was elected as Chairman of the Parliament of the Talysh-Mughan Autonomous Republic (TMAR) within the jurisdiction of Azerbaijan Republic. The new autonomous republic was swiftly suppressed by the central government headed by Heydar Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan Republic from 1993 to his death in 2003 and the father of the Ilham Aliyev (President of the country from 2003 to this day). Many figures of the TMAR (over 30 persons) had been arrested and convicted under various articles of the Azerbaijani Criminal Code; four of them died in custody. At different times, Fakhraddin Aboszoda spoke for various options for a political solution of the “Talysh question” in Azerbaijan: as an autonomous republic within Azerbaijan federation or confederation, or as a fully independent state. He never called for or participated in any acts of violence. Nor has he had any criminal records. We urge international organizations to demand that the Russian authorities hold an impartial and effective investigation into Fakhraddin Aboszoda’s (Abbasov) disappearance from Remand prison-6 of the city of Kolomna, and, that the authorities of Azerbaijan Republic stop persecuting another Talysh scholar and public and political figure. We call on European, American, Russian and Azerbaijani human rights defenders to monitor the situation around Fakhraddin Aboszoda (Abbasov) . We call upon the authorities of European countries, the USA and Iran, as well as upon their civil society, to intervene in the case of Fakhraddin Aboszoda (Abbasov), in order to prevent fabrication of a criminal case against him and to protect him from repeating the fate of the journalist Jamal Hashoggi, killed by the secret services of the no less authoritarian state than Azerbaijan Republic.