Interrogation of Hilal Mammadov who is interviewed as a witness at the closed process of the Court on the Grave Crime from June, 2nd, 2008 (16-00 – 18-00) with regards to the case of the editor-in-chief of the newspaper «Тolishi Sado» («the Voice of Talysh») Novruzali Mammadov and the responsible secretary of the newspaper Elman Guliyev, accused under the Article 274 (« High Treason»).
The judge: Well, Hilal Mammadov. Olease, express your attitude on this question.
H.Mammadov: Mr. Judge, Mr. Public prosecutor, about three months up to the beginning of the specified conference (i.e. in the beginning of March, 2005) I foresaw that some interested forces will still long use this conference as the instrument for artificially created ethno-national problems both in our country and abroad. And it is possible; even they will appear in this or that evidence. Therefore, to put an end to it, for three days prior to the beginning of conference, i.e. on May 17, 2005, I on behalf of our party – PEPA (the Party Equality of People of Azerbaijan, earlier named Таlish People’s Party) have distributed the corresponding application with a view of its boycott. And on the next day, i.e. two days prior to conference, this application has been officially presented to the ambassador of Azerbaijan in Moscow Ramiz Rzayev. He said, that he has informed the president about this information.
In addition, as informed recently and in this litigation with an intention of putting an end of using this conference as the instrument in future, I’ll draw to your attention some important points from our application.
First, as it has been noted in the specified document, the ambassador has been informed three months prior to conference and I asked him to create all possible conditions for carrying out of similar conference in Baku, and I was promised to do it. However neither the ambassador, nor the authorities of Azerbaijan undertook absolutely anything for this purpose, but on the contrary, due to their passive position they created all favorable conditions for holding this event in Yerevan.
Dear Court! Unfortunately, sometimes instead of solving this or that problem, we create a new one and with it even more aggravating the already created situation. From this point of view, sometimes instead of discussing and solving already existed some kind of ethno-national problem in a democratic way; in the contrary the authorities aggravate it even more. So occurs in our country … Imagine, The conference of solidarity of talishes has been held on March 31, 1991 to Turkey (in Istanbul) for the first time in the world and there were representatives from all over the world. But, none of the talishes from our republic could participate there. Likely, you’ll ask, “ but why in Turkey, do talishes live there? ”. Yes, in one time, up to the Soviet power and after the World war II the representatives of talish intelligentsia who had moved there organized such kind of conference and according to their information the number of talishes in Turkey is 37 thousand 500, in the Europe 270 thousand, and in Soviet Union totalled 21 thousand talishes. At that time, and we wished to lead similar conference in our country. Unfortunately, not only in the USSR, but also after declaration of independence of Azerbaijan we had no possibility to make it. Though there are held various international events devoted to the pan Turkism at a state level till the last days.
That’s why, with an intention of struggling for equality of all nationalities and nations living in Azerbaijan, including for protection of political rights of talishes, just then we have been compelled to create the corresponding political party, under the name – the Party of Equality of People of Azerbaijan (PEPA). And it was our first contradictions namely on this ground with Seyfullah Asadullayev and Novruzali Mammadov, - as they were categorically against of politization of national movement. But, as I had noted before, our frank and sincere struggle for freedom of our people all time moved us only forward and forward …
And August events of 1993 were a result of some political mistakes of the former leaders of the country in the salvation of national-ethnic problems and after a while because of the started prosecutions personally me and other members, a party headed by me many of us have been compelled to leave the country.
Dear Court! Just here, I want to give a small explanation to the question of the lawyer rejected by you, that actually, to members of PEPA was not brought an official accusations then, but after placing a ban to the legal activity of our party and because of the constant prosecutions from government structures (especially, МNS), we have been compelled to emigrate.
After 12 years of emigration, returning in the country, being a possessing member of the PACE, with hope for the future we have collided with more unpleasant situation which has shook us even more … Unfortunately, on a way to democratic transformations, our country not only did almost any real steps, but on the contrary, the people who were aspiring to it were pursued hardly in every step. Prosecutions and arrest of "nonconformists" of political, scientific figures, officials, journalists, etc. simply had no borders … And Novruzali Mamedov's arrest, being the head of a unique Cultural center and newspaper of the million talish people, obviously characterizes the crisis in a national– ethnic sphere of the country.
Being called a the witness to MNS(the Ministry of National Security) on this occasion, I felt in what pitiable condition such a responsible departments is either. Continuing of almost 4 hours of interrogation has passed under such emotional and intense conditions, that only the God knows, who blamed whom?!. And with this I estimated Novruzali Mamedov and Elmana Kuliev's arrest as the next experimental, “preventive” political tricks of secret services over the fate the people and nations. I let them know, that all of them still work in the methods inherited them from KGB "to break, "recruit" people for constraining to cooperate with the such organizations.
Dear Court! Even in connection with Yerevan conference, I accused them too, of creation of favorable conditions for holding of similar events.
« Why do you not give an opportunity to discuss the most simple national-ethnic cultural problems in our country, but in abroad? Till what time, being engaged in adorning an old Soviet control system, we shall not be able to enjoy the values of the European democracy that corresponds to our national mentality? », I asked them: « In fact, according to the standard norms of the international community the Azerbaijan Republic as the body of international law, a member of the United Nations, OSCE, СЕ, the PACE, is obliged to hold on to basic documents of the Council of Europe, concerning the National Minorities ».
On this question, the young man, being the assistant to the inspector (Afterwards I learned that namely he put considerable pressure upon N.Mammadov and other witnesses at interrogation), answered me in irony: « If we have accepted advisory "obligations" of the PACE, it does not mean, that we unconditionally should carry out them.
Please, you can hold your events in Yerevan again. But here, in Azerbaijan even a word cannot be uttered about conferences, newspapers, the cultural centers of talishes and other National minorities! ».
Dear Court! Believe, if the investigator has not taken some steps and it would not compose my feelings, maybe during this moment I could not have managed with the emotions …
Now, after all told, think and tell yourself who creates conditions for carrying out similar « Yerevan conferences » and who artificially creates disagreements between our people, who ruins our national and other common rights?
By the way, I want to draw to your attention that Ali Abduli, the person who today appears in the given litigation as the employee of Iranian secret services has also boycotted this conference by handing the corresponding reference to the ambassador Azerbaijan in Iran.
I want to present you one more application in occasion of my homecoming after the 12 years of exile where still three years later the society was notified beforehand by us about possible similar prosecutions in the country in the nearest future …
Dear Court! I ask you, to include this reference and the application in « evidence », and to not return to this question any more because the solidarity of tallish people to our references has proved, that nobody can ever sow hostility between our people. And let these documents once again will be witnesses of that that our people and all of their representatives, and including Novruzali Mammadov, always struggled for protection and strengthening of the Azerbaijan statehood.
Novruzali Mammadov (retort): Hilal, in fact all perfectly know, that I on behalf of RTCC have accepted then the corresponding application too…
Yes, honorable Court, actually, we should thank Dr. Novruzali, in fact he had accepted the similar document before us.
Dear Court, Party over which I supervised, not being neither oppositional, nor governmental, always adhered to a position of truth and validity, had the independent political line, and not being the instrument for dirty affairs of some mighty structures not only in our country, but also abroad, was exposed to numerous troubles. But, believe, we always tried to concern adequately to oppositional opponents in our country and not only conducted worthy struggle, and tried even to eliminate in time a different sort of dangers harming to image of our republic. I thank you for patience and attention to all told by me. I’m ready to answer all the subsequent questions.
The judge fixed the reference and application of H.Mammadov in the "Cause", and addressed to a hall: Is there any more questions to Hilal Mammadov?
The public prosecutor (Addressing to Novruzali Mamedov): -In the indications you have characterized H.Mammadov as « rather considerably adjusted … » (wished something more to add, but suddenly stopped), but, all right, let’s leave away…
Novruzali Mammadov: Yes, I confirm, that in my evidences I have characterized him
« as boundless emotional », and he himself confirmed this, but despite of this, we know H.Mammadov from his activity as the sincere, honest and courageous person. Also I always marked his beautiful oratorical capacities …
The public prosecutor: All right, and in the newspaper for some reason … (kept silent). Well, all right, that’s all from me…
The judge: Somebody has still questions?
Elman Guliev: Let him say, why has he visited my home without my consent? Why has he advised my spouse to get the documents, testifying about my madness?
The judge: In the evidence to the investigator he has given a comprehensive explanation to it.
H.Mammadov, Doyou wish to add something more to your evidence?
H.Mammadov: Small addition (addressing to E. Guliyev): Elman, I visited N.Mammadov’s home without his consent either and informed, that we shall render them all feasible help. Unlike his family, your spouse began to speak about the material difficulties at once. I went there not alone, but with two friends well familiar you, with the purpose to help your family. Namely then she had informed us, that during the work on a line of KGB on a position of the second secretary in Afghanistan you have been poisoned by snake poison and some months you were laid up in the hospitals of Tashkent or Samarkand with the diagnosis "nervous disorder". She has claimed that her husband, the person who selflessly served in CSS (KGB), then in MNS (carried out considerable state tasks in the Garabagh conflict zone) since the student's times up to the end of 90th, today is inflicted with an unfair punishment …
The judge (having stopped it): All right, the consequence has indications given by you on this ground. Are there any questions?
E.Guliev: Honorable judge, I have one more question to H.Mammadov.
The judge: Please.
E.Guliev: Doesn’t the propagation of ideas of Zoroastrianism and fire worshipping in the newspaper “Tolishi Sado” and other newspapers, and also their propaganda among the talishes started and supported by H. Mammadfov make a negative impact in concern with national and religious policy realized in our country?
The judge: The question does not concern to "evidence". I cancel it.
H.Mammadov: Honorable judge, considering, that a question concerns to problems of our statehood, I want just a pair of words.
Elman, if you had told these words, for example, in judicial hearing in the Islamic Republic of Iran, maybe, you would be right.
But don’t forget, our state has declared itself secular integrating with Europe, shares full freedom in a choice of this or that religious idea. And on the other hand, I never propagandized these ideas at all, and was not against of studying and researching of ancient religion of our people. By the way, Elman, Didn’t you translate the book « History of kaduses » the author of which is Аli Аbduli, named by you « the agent of secret services of Iran »?! In fact in this book there are sufficient information about Zoroastrianism and worshipping…
The public prosecutor: Hilal Mammadov, it comes out, that you neither then, nor now you believe in cooperation with official secret service of Iran Ali Abduli. Being based on your evidence it is possible to conclude that at dialogue with someone, it doesn’t interest you that to what organizations do those persons belong. And today, after the acquaintance with the information, did your persuasion change?
In other words, if your cooperation with someone from the secret services has been proved would you continue your relation with this person?
H.Mammadov: Honorable public prosecutor, yes, in such questions I am persistent. And then I shall not stop my relations with well-known scientist of tallish learning Аli Abduli, - the honorable doctor of the Azerbaijan National Creative Academy, carried out irreplaceable contribution to issue of fraternal interrelations between our states and people.
From this point of view, until last days meeting with many political figures of the Europe, America and other countries, I didn’t absolutely interested to what organs do they serve actually, in fact the essence of our meeting consisted of only good intentions between our countries and people.
The public prosecutor: Thanks for the answer. I want to ask you about one: tell, leaning on what and whom do you declare in your speeches everywhere that N, Mammado and E, Guliyev are accused under Article 274 (“high treason”)? How can it be known to you in case of nondiscloser of evidences and at the closed litigation?
H.Mammadov: Honorable Public prosecutor, I decided so after my interrogation in МNS, after meetings with N.Mammadov’s and E.Guliyev's families, after the acquaintance with reports of the searches lead in their apartments, and as after discussion of it in the committee of protection.
The public prosecutor: It is clear. Does it mean that you are not completely familiar with materials of "matter"?
H.Mammadov: Undoubtedly! But, I hope, that this severe accusation really will not find the confirmation in the fair decision of the Court and both accused will be released.
The public prosecutor: It’s clear. Thank you!
The judge: Has somebody still more questions to the witness?
Novruzali Mammadov: Honorable Judge, I have only two questions to Hilal Mammadov.
Hilal, first, I thank you for your sincere, truthful indications. I ask you to answer to my first question. In one of the numbers of the newspaper, issued during your being in Russia (one copy of this newspaper was fetched me in Baku on your request), an article was published about me and Prof. Seyfullah Asadullayev where you apologized in concern with the rash attacks against us in those days. To tell the truth, after your returning to Baku we had only one or two casual meetings and there were no chance to talk to you all-round. To a great regret, after coincidence of circumstances, in 15 years we can remember the former events in a hall of Court and make some recognitions. Tell, whether your attitude has changed towards me or whether you try dissatisfaction after the unreasonable charges put forward against me?
H.Mammadov (hardly constraining tears): Dear Novruzali m! Dear Court! Today, I consider for myself shameful that fact, that with the person who has devoted all his life to the democratic future of Azerbaijan, with his blood and a life protecting the statehood of our country, with well-known scientists – the world-wide linguist, whom I, despite of some disagreements in views, in pride consider him as my teacher addressing behind the ironed bar… It is not only the greater tragedy of our republic and our people, but also of all mankind. I once again beg my pardon for many mistakes of a youth and injustice in relation to him once again.
(Silence in the hall, which was broken by N.Mammadov either)
Novruzali Mamedov: Hilal, I thank you for touching words. My last question to you: -At my home is still kept your speech made during the period of dismissal of me and Prof. Seyfullah Asadullayev from the leadership of the Culture Center and the newspaper “Tolishi Sado” in 1992.
There you with the capital letters have written one such expression: Novruzali Mammadov, the day willcome when I shall prove you, that “Twice two = four!” Here’s 16 yeas left behind now. If not a secret, tell to the Court, and me that what had you wished to tell with it and could you really prove your “assertion?”
Hilal Mammadov: Dear Dr. Novruzali! Struggle in the name of the TRUTH and JUSTICE has taken roots in my soul since childhood, which expressed these words! I think, as many others, You too well knew, that I never pursued the worldly blessings – gaining riches, etc., satisfied with what that I have. But, unfortunately, today in Azerbaijan, as well as all over the world, struggle for money, for worldly benefits suffer with crisis.
Ruling and oppositional forces, which just yesterday were sharing with kisses, today put each other in danger with corresponding accusation. From the ordinary citizen up to the president of the country almost all population is stuck in errors, in humiliation: whether obviously seeing the violation of the TRUTH and VALIDITY nearly in every step - a political and social life, all keep silent! Look, at those « Orujov Hidayat »s whom you considered him as your supporter and those famous religious public figures with whom you had a close relations (I don’t want to utter their names for some reasons) never knocked at your door and didn’t become the supporters of you and your families in these tragically days for you. And not only these "high-ranking" persons, but also many others whom you considered as your close friends, colleagues, relatives, etc. today again shut eyes to your bitter destiny. Certainly, if behind this iron lattice instead of you were some one another or I you had been kept silent either…
Novruzali m., here is and the tragedy of the shy mankind!!! In the end of 80th of the last century studying all the history of the tragic destiny the outstanding tallish and the Azerbaijan political figure and poet Zulfgar Ahmadzade who has been subjected to repression in 1937-38, and I myself morally prepared and prepared other colleagues for similar reprisals in the future.
In my dreams and meditations I almost every day experienced those sufferings – infernal tortures of Zulfugar Ahmadzadeh "concentration camps" of Siberia as on 100 % have been assured that that tragedy will repeat sooner or later. In fact it is the inevitable law of a society that lost the CONSCIENCE and BRAVERY!
Recently, I have read your entreaty to Almighty God in the newspaper “Tolish” published at the beginning of 1990 and in the February number of the newspaper “Tolishi Sado” for 1993: « My God, only and only YOU, in mirror accuracy distinguish the TRUTH from the LIE! »
Forgive and keep Us and our people away from a trouble, approaching « black clouds » over our heavens! ». Yes, I had already seen those terrible episodes of the August tragedy in 1993 at the beginning of 1990th of the last century and subsequent reprisals, arrests, exile, pressure other consequences. I didn’t absolutely doubt that if today the accident of “black clouds” by-passes you, me or someone else, but tomorrow it will inevitably entice not only any of us –oppositionists, but even many people loyal to authorities, including You in a abyss later. To a great regret on this Litigation I cannot properly reveal the historical and psychological reasons and essence of our national tragedy… Here that I wished to tell to you then: the tragedy of Zulfugar Ahmadzadeh is a tragedy of our people and shy mankind! And if we don’t begin to learn and make the adequate conclusions in respect to this tragedy and not struggling for our RIGHTS and JUSTICE, there will be still more similar cases… In fact, as « twice two – is four », it is evident that in a socio-political system of the country and in a society where does not occur almost any progressively - democratic changes, there still will long occur similar tragedies… Once, you - Novruzali Mammadov, Seyfullah Asadullayev and many other scientists- intellectuals, despite of our preventions, kept silence about the tragedy of Zulfugar Ahmadzadeh, seldom and rather avariciously spoke about it without making corresponding conclusions… Even in the textbook « Таlish language », published by you for the initial classes of secondary schools of Talysh region, there is not a single word about this great person - a poet, who sacrificed himself for the sake of our future even in those years of 1930-38 where under his management there have been published more than 50 talish textbooks and books, hundreds of verses for children which now is still read with enormous love not only by the children, youngsters, but also by the adults though they were omitted in your textbooks.
Dear Dr.Novruzali, exactly after 70 years of those awful events of 1937-38th that is in 2007-2008th the tragedy of Zulfugar that is the tragedy of people are continuing still now. And this time just You are accused for “betraying the native land”. And those whom you considered as the supporters in those days (and it’s quite possible that under their so-called recommendation (on dictation) they “have fagortten” Z. Ahmadzadeh) today have cheaply sold You for the sake of the next dirty games over the fate of the people. And all the others – friends, relatives, colleagues, etc. about whom I have told above, easily observe all these awful stages of injustice, shyly keep silent, as have been shyly keeping silent yesterday too… Yes, unfortunately, they will keep silent henceforth …
But, never mind, we shall not lose courage, Dr. Novruzali! I hope, that we by means of ALMIGHTY GOD, shall avoid with this next tests too fallen to our people’s lot. And let the main JUDGE of the Universe helps You, Elman and all of us…
(In a hall a silence fell for some minute)
The judge: Likely, nobody have any more questions to the witness. Thanks, you may go …
Hilal Mammadov: ”The dear Judges, the dear Public prosecutor! I thank you, for attention. If there will be no questions then in the conclusion, in the name of protection of the image of our state in the future, I wish to draw to your attention the rather important points directly touching « the matter of N.Mammadov and E.Guliyev »:
I think, the unreasonable or too exaggerated blames against N.Mammadov and E.Guliyev has a terrible impact on the international image of our country after which, maybe, we cannot be able to recover it for a long time.
In fact, today, in the PACE, United Nations, OSCE, the European Union, National Department of the USA, and in many other international organizations, intergovernmental meetings, etc. the “ matter of N. Mammadov and E. Guliyev have been discussed not once and it had been regarded as the policy of discrimination of National minorities in Azerbaijan.
Tell, please, unless unreasonably accusing the management of the only Cultural Centre and newspaper representing the interests of million people for “High treason”, “espionage” or under other similar articles, the custody of these scientists in a solitary confinement cells of MNS for almost one and a half a year, colliding one scientist (E. Guliyev) against other scientist (N. Mammadov) (by the way, the latter being the teacher of the first) don’t play on a hand of hostile forces in relation to our country? Unless unreasonably accusing the Iranian Islamic Republic in intervention in our internal affairs, and thus naming those known Iranian scientists the agents of "secret services" who had considerable contributions in the development of our interstate and international communications, doesn’t all these spoil our good neigbhourhood mutual relations in future? Tell, please, won’t it be an artificial obstacle when achieving the positive decisions on Garabagh problem in the world community? And, perhaps, isn’t it so that the next appearance of the “ tallish issue” serves as the primary goal of those who stands behind this “issue” thus servicing as ill wishers? Is it possible to behave so cruelly with the known professor, scientist and linguist, the head of the Romano-Germanic department of the Institute of Linguistics of the Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan, -the only scientist on talish learning in the country and in the world, having an immeasurable merits before our country and in the development of the world science?
Dear Court! I’d like to hope, that you considering such seasonings, will be among those fair workers of law enforcement agencies whom not doing any harm to our state and statehood, will bear a fair verdict of these two accused scientists.
Once again I thank all for attention!
(Again silence in the hall)
The judge: Despite the fact that your remarks have no relation to the “Issue", but, in any case we are grateful for the words told. Thanks, you may go!