Police detain activists of the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan, November 17, 2018. Photo by Aziz Karimov for the Caucasian Knot

19 November 2018, 10:53

Eleven Baku detainees accused of violating rally rules

Ali Kerimli, the leader of the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA), and ten activists detained along with him have been accused of violating the rules of mass actions; they face up to two months of administrative arrest, the MIA has reported, while oppositionists assert that the detention of activists and the charges against them are unjustified.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on November 17, in Baku, the police stopped a march of PFPA activists and detained about fifty of them, including the party leader, Ali Kerimli, and Djamil Gasanli, the head of the National Council of Democratic Forces (NCDF) of Azerbaijan. The march was organized on the occasion of the national holiday – the National Revival Day – marked in the country on November 17. They began releasing the detained activists one by one after 6:00 p.m. Moscow time. Mr Gasanli was released around 10:00 p.m. Moscow time. During the night, the fate of Kerimli and seven other detainees remained unknown.

The Baku Chief Police Office has spread an official statement on the detention of Kerimli and other activists. According to the Police, 10 other persons were detained along with Kerimli; they are charged with violating the order of organizing a rally and participation in an unsanctioned rally.

The detention of activists and journalists was unjustified, Ogtai Gyulyalyev, a member of the Coordination Centre of the NCDF, told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

"On a holiday, people were going to lay flowers at the graves of those who gave their lives for the independence and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. They didn't violate the public order and didn't interfere with the traffic; and they carried no other symbols, but flags of Azerbaijan," Mr Gyulyalyev has stated.

Djamil Gasanli, the Chairman of the NCDF, has treated the statement of the Baku Police as "shameless lie."

"The police interference into the ceremony of visiting the Shahids' Alley by NCDF activists on November 17 was not only an illegal, but also an immoral action. Visiting martyrs' graves require no permit of any state body," Mr Gasanli told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on November 18, 2018 at 04:49 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Faik Medzhid; Source: CK correspondent

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