Participants of a spontaneous rally in support of the Azerbaijani army on the night of July 15, 2020. Photo by Aziz Karimov for the Caucasian Knot

06 August 2020, 10:47

AI condemns Azerbaijani authorities for arresting activists

The international human rights organization "Amnesty International" (AI) has expressed its concern about persecutions of political oppositionists in Azerbaijan. A wave of arrests following the July 15 rally in Baku could lead to the disappearance of an already highly fragmented independent opposition, the AI said in its statement.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that at night on July 15, in Baku, a march took place in support of the Azerbaijani army, which ended in clashes with the police. The Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA) reported that the number of party activists detained after the rally had amounted to 48.

The AI's statement posted on its website on August 5 says that over a hundred people, most of whom are opposition leaders and activists, were detained and arrested on politically motivated charges related to the July 15 rally in Baku.

"Sources told the AI that detainees were kept in overcrowded, hot, unventilated rooms with limited food and water supplies. They were also denied access to advocates and were unable to contact their families. There were also reports of torture and other types of inhuman treatment, including psychological pressure," says the statement.

The AI has recalled President Ilham Aliev's statements regarding the opposition and treated the latest wave of arrests to be a continuation of "political persecutions launched in March 2020." "Under the pretext of reacting to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ilham Aliev promised to 'cleanse' the country of political oppositionists, calling them 'traitors' and 'the fifth column'," the AI has stated.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on August 5, 2020 at 11:23 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Faik Medzhid; Source: CK correspondent

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