More arrests in Azerbaijan: an interrupted rally and a lonely picket line
Ten people were arrested in Baku on Saturday after holding a demonstration in support of freeing political prisoners. A lone picketer was also detained.
Police detained 15 activists from the National Council of Democratic Forces when they tried to hold a march in support of political prisoners.
The National Council of Democratic Forces unites several opposition parties and activists.
However, they did not receive permission from the authorities to hold a demonstration. The Caucasian Knot reports that 10 of them were put under administrative arrest.
Due to the fact that the rally was unsanctioned, few activists came out to the stadium. The week before, however, thousands had gathered in support of political prisoners.
According to law enforcement agencies, the activists “attracted the attention of others, created panic among the population, violated the rights of citizens to rest and demonstrated insubordination to police officers”.
The day before, the police detained one Rafael Huseynzade, who held a single-man picket demonstration in the city centre. He held up posters demanding freedom for political prisoners and the resignation of the president.
He was arrested on 26 January, and has not been heard from since.