Activist Qiyas Ibrahimov detained in Azerbaijan during rooftop solo protest
Azerbaijani police detained activist and former political prisoner Qiyas Ibrahimov when he climbed onto the roof of his house and held a solo protest there.
The purpose of the demonstration was to draw people’s attention to the detentions that took place on June 8 in the Yeni Yasamal area, during which 11 people were detained for littering a police car with garbage during a “hunt for quarantine violators” over the weekend.
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Due to the worsening situation with the coronavirus, the Azerbaijani government decided to “close” the country on Saturday and Sunday. It was possible to leave home only for vitally important matters; neither grocery stores, nor transport, nor even pharmacies worked.
Azerbaijan from the very beginning refused to obey the measures of the authorities, and the crackdown on Sunday caused anger and panic. Despite the threat of fines and arrest, many still went outside. On social media, there were many videos of people running away from the police, and then videos of cruel detentions.
In an apartment building in the Yeni Yasamal district, garbage was thrown from windows onto a police car during the detention of a person who had violated the quarantine lockdown. And a day later, in the same house, the police raided the building, broke into apartments and forcibly dragged out residents.
This “punitive operation” caused a great resonance in the opposition-minded part of society, activists started talking about the need to force the police to apologize for such behavior.
According to Qiyas Ibrahimov, if a person cannot feel safe in his own house, then you need to protest at home. He climbed onto the roof of his apartment building with a loudspeaker and a huge poster that read “Don’t be silent, speak out”. Broadcasting all this on Facebook, the activist explained the essence of the demonstration: “Stop caving in before the violence, before the arbitrariness of state terror.”
Almost immediately, the police appeared. The activist promised to jump from the roof if they came up, but after about 10 minutes he was nevertheless detained and taken away.
Pro-government media covered this event with wording in the spirit of “resident of the capital Qiyas Ibrahimov, climbing the roof of his house, voiced illegal [appeals].”
Media also reported that an investigation into his actions is being carried out.
Who is Qiyas Ibrahimov?
Qiyas Ibrahimov is known for being sentenced to 10 years in prison together with another activist, Bayram Mammadov, on charges of drug possession after writing graffiti with a provocative on a monument to President Ilham Aliyev’s father, Heydar Aliyev. In 2019, they were pardoned.