“The Azerbaijani authorities continue their repressions against the political opposition thereby violating the right of citizens to freedom of speech and peaceful assembly and taking a tough stance on peaceful protests.
This was announced in a statement issued by Amensty International (AI) owing to the dispersal of a peaceful rally in Baku on 1 December which demanded the release of activist Saleh Rustamov,who is on a long hunger strike in prison.
“Violent arrests, tortures and other ill-treatment of peaceful protesters by Azerbaijani police should be discontinued,” says AI.
The organisation says that the authorities should immediately and unconditionally release all those arrested for exercising their right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, and effectively investigate all allegations of unnecessary or excessive force used by the police, tortures and other ill-treatment of detainees. Those responsible for unlawful acts must be brought to justice.
The AI notes that while the Ministry of Interior spokesperson promised to investigate the mistreatment of opposition politician Yagublu and other protesters detained at the rally, these allegations of wrongdoing were later dismissed by the police as “unfounded”.
AI is concerned that the Azerbaijani government continues to prohibit the exercise of the right to freedom.”This is contrary to both national laws and Azerbaijan’s international obligations. Moreover, the organisation is concerned that the Azerbaijani authorities continue to arbitrarily impose pandemic rules and restrictions to thus justify the repression of peaceful protests,” AI further said in a statement.