AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: AZERBAIJAN MUST STOP VIOLENT CRACKDOWNS ON PEACEFUL PROTESTORS

April 29th, 2010
On 28 April, Amnesty International issued a statement urging the Azerbaijan authorities to respect the right to freedom of assembly after dozens of opposition supporters were detained on Monday while on their way to a demonstration to demand the rights to freedom of expression and assembly.

"This crackdown on peaceful protesters is just the latest example of the Azerbaijani authorities' attempts to silence dissent," said Halya Gowan, director of Amnesty International's Europe and Central Asia Programme. "Those arrested are being denied their rights to freedom of assembly and expression, which are exactly the rights that they were protesting for."
 
 “Seven journalists were reportedly detained,” read the statement. “Two journalists, Mehman Huseynov from the Institute for Reporter Freedom and Safety and Afgan Mukhtarli from Yeni Musavat newspaper, reportedly had their cameras broken. Mehman Huseynov also alleged that he received a leg injury during the dispersal.”
 
Amnesty International called on the Government of Azerbaijan to uphold the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly in line with their international obligations.
On 26 April, journalists along with participants faced harassment from police and unidentified plain clothed people during an action that Azadlig bloc attempted to conduct in front of Icheri Sheher metro station.