Over 40 arrested at protest in Baku. Photostory
More than 40 young activists were arrested in the centre of Baku on 9 September during a planned protest against the arrest of the well-known opposition party member Tofiq Yaqublu.
One of the protestors was taken by car from the protest and left in an empty lot 200 kilometres from the city.
A few hours before the protest, hundreds of police officers and their equipment had already started patrolling all the roads to the area in front of the Constitutional Court building.
The protestors managed to reach the area on their own, although each of them was arrested as soon as they said the slogan “Freedom for Tofiq Yaqublu”.
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Over the course of two hours, the police arrested and held around 30 people in their vehicles. They were taken to the police station and released within an hour.
At the same time, about a dozen activists marched in protest to the Baku City Nizami District Court building, where Yaqublu’s trial had taken place. Some protestors were arrested there as well and released on the outskirts of Baku.
Unluckiest of all was one of the organisers of the protest, Giyas Ibrahim. He was placed in a police car and left in an empty lot in the Jalilabad district of Azerbaijan, some 200 kilometres from Baku.
Tofiq Yaqublu was sentenced on 3 September, 2020, to 4 years and 3 months imprisonment in a high-security prison for hooliganism. According to the court documents, he caused a car accident and attacked a married couple who were passengers in another vehicle.
Freedom House made a statement on the arrest of Yaqublu and requested that the government free him.
Yaqublu was imprisoned for two years from 2014 to 2016 on a charge of organising mass protests. Later, he was detained for 30 days for participating in mass opposition protests in Baku on 19 October, 2019.