Azerbaijani opposition activist first threatened with ‘crucifiction,’ then kidnapped and sentenced to 30 days
Opposition activist and member of the Azerbaijani Popular Front Party (APFP) Ruslan Amirli was kidnapped on September 10, and the next day was sentenced to 30 days under administrative detention for petty hooliganism. Shortly before this, someone threatened to ‘nail him to the party leader.’
Timeline of Events
Ruslan Amirli is part of a group of “volunteers” who guard the party leader Ali Karimli.
“A few days ago a certain Fuad Muradov called Ruslan and said that he would nail him and I together with 150-millimeter nails,” wrote Karimli on his Facebook page.
On the day of September 10, party members reported that 7-8 people had captured Ruslan in broad daylight and taken him to an unknown location. At noon on September 11, it turned out that Amirli spent the night at the police station, and in the morning he was taken to court.
Popular Front Party activists and journalists arrived at the courthouse, but the police would not let them in, which lead to a brawl.
Ruslan Amirli was sentenced to 30 days under administrative detention for petty hooliganism and resisting police. The official explanation was that Amirli “cursed obscenely on the street, and when the police gave him a warning, he did not comply.”
Amirli himself says that he was detained for no reason by people in civilian clothes when he left the building of the cancer center, where his sister is being treated.
APFP believes the arrest was politically motivated.
The Popular Party and the Azerbaijani government
The Azerbaijani Popular Front Party is a nationalist democratic party that was established in 1988.
The party has very tense relationship with the authorities. In 2019 alone, dozens of APFP members were arrested on charges of resisting police and hooliganism. Some party members have already served or continue to serve sentences on more serious charges.
In addition, the authorities regularly refuse to give the APFP permission to hold rallies, do not invite them to political events and, in general, prevent them from participating in Azerbaijani politics.