Displeased Azerbaijani citizens write letters to the president as the country awaits two more days of quarantine
Next Sunday and Monday, that is, June 14-15, residents of large cities of Azerbaijan will again be forbidden from leaving the house, and all stores and even pharmacies will be closed. The authorities first tested this method of combating the spread of coronavirus last weekend. And this raised the tension in society to a boiling point.
After learning that, in spite of everything that happened last week, the operational headquarters under the Cabinet of Ministers decided to repeat their weekend quarantine experiment, some social media users wrote a collective letter to the president of the country Ilham Aliyev with a request to cancel the lockdown.
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Official statistics show that 8,191 cases of coronavirus have been reported in Azerbaijan. 4,606 have been cured, 98 have died, and 3,487 are still being treated. Around 300 new cases are detected daily.
The special quarantine regime in Azerbaijan, which was supposed to end on June 15, was extended until July 1. But on June 15, some domestic flights will resume.
What happened last weekend
Throughout all of Saturday and Sunday (June 6-7), residents of large cities of Azerbaijan were not allowed to leave their homes, even to throw out the trash or walk their dog.
In some cases, the ambulance refused to go out on calls. It was also impossible to get medicine.
Police cars patrolled around yards and detained quarantine violators. As a result, residents of one multi-story apartment building in Baku threw garbage out of the windows at the police car in protest.
The next morning, a team of riot police broke into the building, rounding up and detaining 11 people. Footage of this raid hit the internet and provoked a huge scandal. Social networks were divided into those who hated the police fiercely and those who consider the detainees themselves to blame.
An activist and former political prisoner Qiyas Ibrahimov staged a protest, climbing on the roof of his house and urging people to resist police abuses of power.
In light of this situation, many already perceive coronavirus as a secondary issue.
What happens now?
Unlike the previous lockdown, people will be allowed to walk dogs and drive in personal cars. The latter will only be permitted in exceptional cases. Otherwise, everything will be the same as last time.
Many in Azerbaijan were horrified to hear this news and fell into depression beforehand. Some have serious fears that such unjustifiably strict measures against the backdrop of police despotism could lead to more serious protests than before.
JAMnews political analyst Shahin Rzayev believes that:
“The operative headquarters is behaving like Tsar Nicholas II’s entourage. It’s supposedly trying to fight the infection, but instead, it only brings the country one step closer to revolution.”