The policemen in Baku. Photo © SPUTNIK / MURAD ORUJOV https://az.sputniknews.ru/incidents/20180523/415469811/pistolet-avtobus-passazhir-policejskij-hyrdalan.html

25 January 2019, 19:01

Baku resident detained at action demanding to release political prisoners

Policemen have detained Rafael Guseinzade, a Baku resident, who organized a solo protest action. He said that he came out to protest after the city Mayoralty refused to sanction the rally on January 26.

On January 24, the Baku Mayoralty refused to sanction the rally for the freedom to political prisoners scheduled for January 26. The authorities linked the refusal with public order violations at the rally on January 19. Activists found such arguments unjustified.

Mr Guseinzade was holding the banner with slogans: "Freedom to political prisoners!" and "Down with Ilham!" The poster had a photo of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliev with an inscription "Dictator" above it.

The activist said on air of the "Meydan.TV" that he was demanding the release of all political prisoners, including the blogger Mekhman Guseinov.

On March 3, 2017, Mekhman Guseinov was sentenced to two years in prison on charges of defamation. Two months before his release, on December 26, 2018, Guseinov was accused of beating a prison employee. Rights defenders felt that the new criminal case was a revenge on the blogger for his criticizing the authorities. On January 22, after the President of Azerbaijan demanded to ensure the objectivity of the investigation, the case was stopped.

"I urge people to keep the issue of political prisoners in the spotlight. If they do not arrest me, I'll come here every day and hold a hunger strike here for eight hours," Rafael Guseinzade has stated.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on January 25, 2019 at 03:18 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Faik Medjid; Source: CK correspondent

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