Police break up protest against police brutality in Baku
Police broke up a protest rally against police violence in Baku, which was held in front of the Ministry of Internal Affairs building earlier today.
The protest was in response to an incident occurring last week when 11 people were arrested from one apartment building.
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Last weekend, June 6-7, Baku and other large cities in Azerbaijan announced a lockdown due to an increase in the number of coronavirus cases within the country.
For two days residents were forbidden from going outside for any reason, even to throw out the trash.
People reacted to the announcement quite negatively and tensions rose. The situation was aggravated by the fact that police patrolled around the yards catching violators. This resulted in a conflict between the residents of one of the high-rise buildings in a commuter town and the local police squad, where residents of the building threw garbage at officers from their balconies.
The next morning, June 8, a group of security officials broke into the apartment complex and detained 11 people. Moreover, the police used unwarranted force, beating and insulting the detainees, each of whom were eventually sentenced to 15 days apiece. This incident was very hotly discussed on social networks. Many people in Baku felt that the police crossed a line with their use of excessive force.
This was the incident which sparked the protest.
A couple dozen people joined the rally, most of whom were women. Police preemptively surrounded the entire area in front of the ministry building and began to disperse the rally shortly after the protesters began to express their complaints. Several people, led by the organizer of the protest, activist Narmin Shahmarzade, were pushed onto a bus and taken away.