A police officer and a federal army soldier in a street in Baku during the quarantine. Photo by Aziz Karimov for the "Caucasian Knot"

07 April 2020, 18:22

Azerbaijani opposition claims pressure on activists

The Azerbaijani Movement for Democracy and Welfare (MDW) has stated that authorities are using the quarantine to put pressure on activists: members of the movement were summoned to the police; one activist was arrested under the pretext of fighting the pandemic. Oppositionists see the suppression of the freedom of self-expression as the true reason for persecutions.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that by April 6, Azerbaijan registered 641 cases of coronavirus infection; seven patients died.

The activists, Rovshan Muradly, Ulfat Akhverdiev, Ilgar Yagublu, Mukhabbat Murad and Shakir Mamedli were detained and fined.

Murad was subjected to psychological pressure: over the phone they demanded from him to stop criticizing authorities in social networks, said Gubad Ibadoglu, the MDW leader.

Besides, according to his story, Shakir Mamedli, a member of the Supreme Majlis of the MDW, was detained on April 6, although he left home after receiving an SMS permit. The court sentenced him to 15 days of arrest.

The persecutions of activists began after the arrests of Tofig Yagublu, a member of the National Council of Democratic Forces (NCDF), and a number of other oppositionists, the MDW has noted.

The MDW has called on authorities to stop repressive measures against their critics and release Mamedli and other arrested activists.

The NCDF of Azerbaijan has condemned the authorities for repressive measures against the opposition.

"Because of the quarantine measures, which keep people away from work, and, therefore, deprive them from earnings, tensions are building up in the society. Apparently, by persecuting activists, authorities are taking 'preventive measures' to prevent unrests," Elshan Gasanov, the head of the Centre for Monitoring Political Prisoners, has stated.

Let us remind you that on April 6, Azerbaijani policemen arrested six persons.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on April 7, 2020 at 10:00 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Faik Medjid; Source: CK correspondent

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