The ISHR would like to express its sincere condolences on the death of Gozel Bayramli. She was an human rights activst in Azerbaijan, who was greatly respected by her colleagues for her bravery and accomplishments.
Gozel Bayramli (27.04.1962 – 07.10.2020) was the deputy chairman of the Azerbaijani Popular Front Party (APFP), which has been working for European integration, free market economy and functioning democracy since 1991. The APFP contributed to the formation of the government in 1992, until Heydar Aliyev, the father of the current president, came to power in 1993. His family has not given up power to this day.
Only in 2015 more than a dozen high-ranking members of the opposition party APFP were arrested – typical charges are tax fraud or drug trafficking. Among them, Gozel Bayramli, had been arrested several times for political reasons – also on 25 May 2017, when she was returning to her country from neighbouring Georgia, where she was receiving medical treatment. She was sentenced to three years in prison on 23 January 2018 for alleged money smuggling. ISHR was actively campaigning for her release. On 17 March 2019, she was released along with 400 other prisoners after nearly two years in prison as part of the pardon granted by President Aliyev to his people every year on a National Holiday.
During her imprisonment, the world press knew her as a political prisoner; later, after her release, she was seriously ill, without insurance, without financial support and without the support of those for whom “the case was resolved after release”. The two-year imprisonment left a heavy mark on Gozel Bayramli’s health. At the Heidelberg University Hospital, where she was treated later, she was diagnosed with a life-threatening condition due to numerous injuries as well as lack of nutrition and medical treatment.
After her diagnosis of cancer the ISHR tried to support Ms. Bayramly financially and cover her treatments, but sadly she succumbed to the disease after two courses of chemotherapy and died in her home in Baku, Azerbaijan. Her funeral took place on 08.10.2020 at the cemetery Dede Korkud. Due to police measures, most members of her party were not allowed to attend her funeral.
We are deeply sorry to hear about the death of Gozel Bayramli. Our sincere condolences to all her beloved ones and her family.
Photo left: In the foreground Ali Karimli