Feminist rally held in Baku ends with detention of around 30
Feminist rally held in Baku
Baku feminists attempted to held their traditional March 8 (Women’s Day) rally earlier today to protest domestic violence in the country.
Police got ahead of them, and forcefully ended the rally and detained dozens. A JAMnews correspondent is among the detainees.
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It had long been known that feminists were preparing to hold a protest against domestic violence on March 8, 2021 in the very center of Baku. For several years now it has become a tradition of Azerbaijani women’s rights activists.
Preparing for the rally
A week before the due date, the feminists organized a private concert in which they performed songs dedicated to women’s rights.
Also, during the first week of March, the girls sewed special protective masks with inscriptions – the slogans of the upcoming rally – and prepared posters.
Half an hour before the start of the rally, a group of feminists walked into a cafe near Fountain Square, the traditional place where they were going to hold the rally.
A few minutes later, law enforcement officers in civilian clothes entered the cafe and detained several participants in the action. JAMnews correspondent Sevgi Ismayilbeyli was also among the detainees.
The detainees were taken to an unknown destination.
Severe detentions during the action
At exactly 15:00, the first slogans of the feminists gathered in the city center were heard. But the posters raised by them were seized by the police almost before anyone could read what was written on them.
Those shouting slogans began to be detained, and physical force was used.
As a result of arrests in the 9th police department of Baku city, there were about 30 participants of the rally.
At the same time, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Azerbaijan issued a statement about the unauthorized rally, noting that there were no detainees among the participants of the rally.
Flowers to the detainees from the police
After about two hours, the detained feminists were released.
“We were all seated in the assembly hall of the department. Then they took an explanatory note from everyone, and later called the head of the department into the office.
There they conducted ‘explanatory work.’ And the chief congratulated us on March 8 and tried to present each of them with flowers, but everyone refused,” detained Sevgi Ismayilbeyli told JAMnews.
The rally still took place
After the detainees were released, a group of feminists moved to another part of the city and raised their posters in the Winter Park and lit fires.
The police intervened again, but did not detain anyone.