Azerbaijani opposition member arrested for the second time in six weeks
The assistant chairman of the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (APFP) Faiq Amirli was arrested for 15 days on charges of petty hooliganism, reports Caucasian Knot. This is the second time Amirli has been arrested in a month and a half – on April 8 he was sentenced to 30 days on charges of violating the quarantine regime. In addition, several other members of the APFP were arrested in May on various administrative and criminal charges. The party’s deputy chairman, Gezal Bayramli, believes that the authorities are conducting an “unprecedented campaign of repression against the Popular Front Party.”
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Faiq Amirli is a former political prisoner; in 2016 he was accused of inciting religious hatred and sentenced to 3 years and 3 months in prison, and a year later he was released on parole. Since then, Amirli has been arrested repeatedly on various administrative charges.
On May 24, Amirli and his wife traveled to the city of Sabirabad in the southwest of Baku to visit the graves of their parents for Ramadan. The local police removed him from his house, and on the very same day, he was sentenced to 15 days. He is accused of hooliganism, but it is unclear what exactly he is being charged for.
“It seems that the second wave of arresting our activists has begun. Since the end of March, 17 members of our party have been put under administrative arrest, three have been prosecuted, and another has been imprisoned in a mental hospital. In fact, the APFP leader is currently under house arrest. He has been denied access to his landline and the internet since April 13,” says Gezal Bayramli
The Ministry of Internal Affairs has not yet commented on Amirli’s arrest. But earlier, the ministry denied that it was persecuting the opposition for political reasons.