The Defense Committee for youth activist Jabbar Jabbarli held a press conference today to speak about the arrest of a member of Azerbaijan Popular Front Party Youth Committee.
APFP youth member Jabbar Savalani was arrested on Saturday evening, in front of his apartment building. He is being charged with possession of narcotics, which carries a prison sentence of up to 3 years.
Defense Committee member Natig Adilov declared that the authorities had taken this measure in attempt to intimidate and silence the youth.
The Head of the APFP Youth Committee, Abulfaz Gurbanli, said that Savalanli had been arrested because of his involvement with protests against a police clampdown during an opposition protest on January 20th at the Alley of Martyrs. Savalanli had also posted critical articles on Facebook.
The editor-in-chief of Azadlig newspaper Ganimat Zahid proposed that youth organizations should join with opposition parties to form a united front.
According to journalist Shahveled Chobanoglu, these types of arrests happen mainly over the weekend, on the basis that people are less likely to pay attention to fabricated criminal charges and arrests.
Deputy APFP Chairman Gozal Bayramli said he thought the arrest was political, carried out with a hope of silence youth activism.
Head of the Musavat Party Youth Committee Tural Abbasli said that the arrest required an immediate response, and proposed holding protests in front of President’s Office, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and in the city centre.
IRFS Chairman Emin Huseynov pointed out that journalists like Mirza Sakit and Eynulla Fatullayev had been victims of the same charge. According to him, the aim of these measures is intimidation.