Law enforcers detain participants of Baku rally. Photo by Aziz Karimov for the Caucasian Knot

22 October 2019, 11:06

Europe and USA criticize Baku for dispersal of protests

The police actions during an unauthorized rally in Baku on October 19 were condemned by the Council of Europe, the European External Relations Service, the PACE and the US Embassy in Azerbaijan.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on October 19, in central Baku, law enforcers dispersed an unsanctioned protest action, announced by the National Council of Democratic Forces (NCDF) and the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA). By using violence and force, policemen detained Ali Kerimli, the PFPA, oppositional politicians Tofig Yagublu, Vakhid Magerramli and others. The Baku police reported 60 detainees; 42 of them were released after warning.

"The events that took place over the weekend in Baku, where the police brutally dispersed unsanctioned rallies, raise serious concern about the police's behaviour and people's right to peaceful protests in Azerbaijan," said Dunja Mijatović, the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, in her statement, posted on October 21 on the Council of Europe's website.

The violence against peaceful demonstrators was condemned by Stefan Shennah and Roger Gale, Co-Rapporteurs of the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on Azerbaijan. They expressed concern about the detention of protesters and the use of violence against them. They treated the police's reaction as "excessive and disproportionate."

In its statement, the US Embassy in Azerbaijan called on the government to investigate the reports on policemen's violence, hold those responsible accountable, and ensure that those arrested are released as soon as possible.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on October 22, 2019 at 04:03 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Faik Medzhid; Source: CK correspondent

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