Statement by the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the General Public Prosecutor’s Office16.02.2005
A group of prisoners incarcerated in Penitentiary No.11 of the Main Department for Enforcement of Court Decisions raised a number of claims resulting in a protracted protest accompanied by disobedience. A set of security measures were undertaken in response to this action, and a special commission was formed following instruction by the Minister of Justice with a view to sorting out causes of the incident.
The commission including Ombudsman, NGO representatives and close relatives of the prisoners had repeatedly met the rioters trying to persuade them to observe security regime and halt illegal actions.
However these appeals yielded no positive result. On the contrary, in order to furthermore exacerbate the situation the rioters started putting forward unfounded claims incompatible with routine prison regulations. Armed with various tools they were exerting physical and psychological pressure upon other inmates forcing them to partake in the disobedience action.
The rioters also attempted to expand the riot upon other reformatories and undermine the penitentiary regime by setting arsons in the prison facilities. Repeated communications were made through loudspeakers warning the convicts about force and special means to be applied to them in compliance with the law should they refuse to suspend the action.
Neglecting appeals by the authorities the mutineers got furthermore violent, so that various pieces of metal and other sharp subjects they had got armed with became truly hazardous for life and security of other inmates and prison officers.
Given this situation a riot control operation was conducted by relevant units of the Ministries of Justice and Internal Affairs with force and special devices applied in a manner prescribed by the legislation. As a result law and order were reinstated in the penitentiary with no casualties.
Criminal proceedings were instituted by the municipal Public Prosecutor’s office of Baku in connection with riot and disturbances in Penitentiary No.11. The investigation is currently going on with a view to hold the instigators and perpetrators liable in due course.
In this respect the national law-enforcement agencies would like to hereby reassure the public that any attempt by felonry to effect penitentiary administration by “code of thieves” will be henceforth suppressed in the most resolute manner.
Statement by the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the General Public Prosecutor’s Office