Opposition Party Activists Arrested for Their Activity on Social Networks February 5, 2016

February 5th, 2016

Fuzuli Huseynov, a member of the Khatai district branch of the opposition party Azerbaijan Popular Front Party (APFP), was stopped in the Absheron region and taken to the police office on January 27. It is believed he was arrested for his activity on social networks.

 

His family was unable to obtain any information about his whereabouts for 6 days after his arrest; it was not until February 2nd that Fuzuli Huseynov’s relatives learned that he had been apprehended. According to his relatives, Huseynov has been convicted under article 310 (willful disobedience to lawful requirements of a police or military officer) of the Code of Administrative Offences, and sentenced to 30 days in prison by Absheron Regional Court.  He launched a hunger strike in Binagadi detention facility on February 5, and did not accept the food parcel sent for him, reported the activist’s brother.

 

On January 22, APFP Youth Committee Nasimi district branch member Jeyhun Isgandarli was kidnapped from his family’s house in Garoghlan village in the Yevlakh region, and taken to Yevlakh City Police Department. In a phone conversation with his father on January 23, Jeyhun said that he was at Ganja City Police Department and that drugs had been planted on him. His father, Hikmat Isgandarli, says he went to the Ganja Police Department but was not allowed to meet with Jeyhun, and that officers had even refused to pass on the clothes that he had brought.

“My son never used drugs. They are refusing to tell us why they have arrested him, or whether there is a criminal case against him, or whether he has been jailed. They won’t tell us anything. But I believe that Jeyhun was arrested for his civic engagement and political activities,” said Hikmat Isgandarli. 

 

Jeyhun Isgandarli was an active social network user. The party’s Nasimi district branch has stated that Isgandarli has been targeted by the authorities for his political views.

 

Earlier in January, several other APFP activists were sentenced to administrative imprisonment on charges of resisting the police and hooliganism. Some have linked the crackdown on APFP activists with the social protests that broke out across different regions of Azerbaijan in mid-January. 

 

Background: In mid-January 2016, social protests erupted across various regions of the country (Siyazan, Fuzuli, Lankaran, etc.), sparked by increases in the price of food and other essential goods, and the increased rate of workplace closure after the devaluation of the national currency in 2015.