The flowers, candles and written memoirs left in front of the State Oil Academy of Azerbaijan (SOAA) in memory of the people who died as a result of armed attack were removed yesterday, 30 April. Police detained several students that attempted to protest this. The students, who object also the decision not to declare official mourning in Azerbaijan, wrote placards and stuck them on the walls. The placards called for Flower Holiday (May 10, which also coincides with birthday of Heydar Aliyev) to be called off.
Ministry of Interior Press Service employee Ehsan Zahidov told the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety that the students were detained on the basis of an appeal from SOAA leadership to the Nasimi District Police Department.
“SOAA leadership appealed to police to prevent the students and citizens from writing on the façade of the building,” said Zahidov. “Several students objecting to police interference were released after they were given a warning.”
The cleaning continued in front of the building today. Specifically, the writings about not declaring official mourning and slogans about canceling Flower Day were targeted for removal. Some spots impossible to erase were painted over.
On 30 April at 9:30 a.m., as a result of an armed attack in Building #2 of SOAA, 13 people were killed and 13 people were injured.