Saleh Rustamov is on 24th day into his hunger strike that he started with a demand to be released from prison. His lawyer Bahruz Bayramov says, according to prison doctors who examined him, that Rustamov’s health has already deteriorated, and he can fall into comatose any moment. Rustamov told Bayramov that from 26 November on he will refuse water too.
But who is Saleh Rustamov?
Saleh Rustamov is a member of the opposition Popular Front Party. He was a mayor of Gadabay district in western Azerbaijan in 1992-93 when the Popular Front was in government, along with Musavat Party.
After the Popular Front and Musavat lost power to Heydar Aliyev in 1993, Rustamov also left his position. In 1997, he moved to Russia and started operating a small shoes-selling business.
Since then, Rustamov has lived in Russia, married there, and been granted Russian citizenship. However, he did not cut his ties with his country as he sent money to the families of imprisoned members of the Popular Front Party over the years.