Mehman Huseynov connects this with his participation in municipal and parliamentary elections" />

Azerbaijani blogger says he was brutally beaten by police after rally for arrested rapper

Mehman Huseynov connects this with his participation in municipal and parliamentary elections

Azerbaijani blogger and former political prisoner Mehman Huseynov said that on the night of December 27 he was seized by policemen in the street, taken out of town, brutally beaten and left.

This happened the same night when Huseynov and other activists held a rally in defense of the arrested rapper Parviz Guluzade, also known as Paster.

Mehman and several other people took pictures with posters in front of the Ministry of Internal Affairs as part of the rally. Photo: Nida Community Movement

 Rapper arrested in Azerbaijan for criticising bank owned by first lady’s family

Having returned to the city from the outskirts, Huseynov recorded a video in which he spoke about how he was beaten by six policemen, who ‘were very cruel, beat him, humiliated him, accused him of organizing the rally and threatened to do worse the next time.’

Huseynov connects the beating with the fact that he recently accused the authorities of rigging the municipal elections in which he participated. He also plans to participate in the parliamentary elections, which are scheduled for February 9, 2020.

 Azerbaijan: feminists, former political prisoners, announce candidacies in formerly ignored municipal elections

The Ministry of the Interior does not give any explanation in this regard.

That same night, at 12 o’clock, the rapper’s supporters were going to hold another rally in the city center. Several dozen police officers appeared in the area, but the rally did not take place. 

Police gathered at the Fountain Square in Baku in anticipation of the rally, but no one came.  Photo: Nurlan Libre

Who is Mehman Huseynov?

Mehman Huseynov is a popular video blogger.  In his videos, he criticises the authorities and condemned corrupt officials.

Huseynov was sentenced to two years in March 2017 on charges of defamation of the head of the district police department in Baku. He said that he was tortured at the police station, and the court considered these words to be slander.

The human rights organization Amnesty International recognized Huseynov as a “prisoner of conscience”.

Towards the end of the sentence, Mehman was charged again with attacking a guard.  He went on a hunger strike in prison. The charge was dropped after a powerful public campaign in his support and the intervention of the European Parliament.

At the end of 2019, Huseynov participated in municipal elections, but lost.  He is going to run for parliamentary office on February 9, 2020.

More on JAMnews