Russia extradites Talysh rights activist to Baku

Prior to being arrested, Abbasov lived for 25 years in Russia in self-imposed exile

Talysh activist Fakhraddin Abbasov has been extradited to Azerbaijan where he was promptly arrested by police in Baku airport on 28 February, the Caucasian Knot reports.

Abbasov is accused of ‘calling for [action] against the territorial integrity [of Azerbaijan] and public incitement to hostilities’.

The Talysh are a national minority of Iranian origin, living in the south of Azerbaijan near the border with Iran. Their number is estimated to be about 2000,000.

In 1993, Colonel Alakram Hummatov proclaimed the Talysh Mughan Republic. Fakhraddin Abbasov, or Aboszoda as he calls himself, was one of the leaders of the national movement and leaders of the Talysh Mughan republic. After the separatist movement was crushed, Abbaszoda left the country.

In 2018, an Azerbaijani court issued a warrant for the arrest of Abbasov.

According to investigators, Abbasov traveled to Armenia, met with Armenian special services, and afterwards made ‘statements online against Azerbaijan and its territorial integrity’.

Azerbaijan sent a request for extradition to Russia, where Abbasov had been living. He was later arrested in Lyubertsy. For five months he was awaiting extradition in remand prison. Finally, a Lyubertsy court decided to deport Abbasov because his temporary residence in Russia had expired.

The Russian representative office of the human rights organization Amnesty International said that handing Abbasov over to Azerbaijan is non-compliance with the norms of international law on the part of Russia:

“This is contrary to the official position of the Supreme Court of Russia, which in 2012 ordered the lower courts to respect Russia’s obligations under international law and not to satisfy extradition requests if there are fears that the extradition may be subjected to torture and other forms of ill-treatment.”

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