A mourning ceremony for the policemen killed in clashes during the protest action in the city of Ganja. Photo © Sputnik / İlham Mustafa

11 July 2018, 22:58

Riots in Azerbaijani Ganja: secular opposition replaced by religious radicals

In the city of Ganja, one of the Shiite centres, social tension in the city resulted in the killing of policemen at a protest action. This is reported by experts. They have noted that in Azerbaijan, as a result of the authorities' actions against the secular opposition, religious radicals who raise social issues become more popular.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on July 10, in Ganja, about 150-200 people gathered in front of the administration building in connection with an assassination attempt on Elmar Veliev, the head of the executive power in the city. In the course of the action, two policemen were killed in clashes.

The authorities of Ganja suppressed the marches on the occasion of the Shiite mourning day of Ashura, and that provoked the discontent among believers, noted Tofiq Turkel, an observer of the agency "Turan".

In Ganja, there were always mass marches on the occasion of the Shiite mourning day of Ashura, but with coming to power in 2011, Elmar Veliev suppressed those marches, reported Tofiq Turkel.

"The suppression provoked constant discontent of believers. Elmar Veliev is also said to voice derogative statements about Shiite imams," Tofiq Turkel explained.

Systematic marginalization of the secular opposition has freed up space for radicals, believes journalist Khadija Ismayilova.

The events in Ganja were provoked by two global reasons, including the lack of opportunities for people to achieve justice and the decline in the educational level of the population, believes Natiq Jafarli, a member of the Mejlis for the "Republican Alternative" (ReAl) Party.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on July 11, 2018 at 07:03 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Faik Medjid; Source: CK correspondent

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