Ganja residents bring protest against torture of imprisoned relatives to Baku
Relatives of youth arrested because of unrest in the Azerbaijani city of Ganja came to the capital yesterday to hold a protest in front of the presidential administration building.
They demanded that security officials who tortured those arrested be punished.
The police broke up the rally and detained several of its participants and four journalists, , citing human rights activist Ogtay Gulaliev. After several hours, three of the journalists were released.
What happened in Ganja?
On July 3, 2018, an attempt was made on the life of the Ganja Mayor Elmar Valiyev. Local resident Yunis Safarov shot at Valiyev and his guard. Both survived and the gunman was detained.
On July 10, a protest rally in support of Yunis Safarov began in front of the Ganja administration building. About 200 people gathered for the demonstration, and a clash occurred between the police and protesters. Two policemen were killed.
One of the suspects in the case of the policemen’s death himself died a few days later during his arrest, while the second was arrested.
More than ten people were arrested in the case. In March 2019, some of them were sentenced to terms ranging from five to eight years on charges of organizing mass riots and resisting the police.
On April 22, 2019, the relatives of those arrested staged a protest in Ganja, but the police prevented them from demonstration, saying that the event was “illegal and violated public order”.
Demands of the detainees’ relatives
Protesters believe that their relatives were arrested unfairly and tortured. They brought with them a photo of the head of the investigative group on the Ganja case and other security officials, who, in their opinion, were involved in torture.