US Embassy urges Azerbaijani government to respect rights of citizens
Azerbaijani government urged to respect rights of citizens
The government of Baku has once again denied the opposition Popular Front Party permission to hold a protest in front of the city administration building on November 11. Last time over 100 protesters were arrested at a similar protest. “We call on the government to respect the rights of its citizens, including the right to peaceful assembly,” a spokeswoman for the US Embassy in Azerbaijan said.
- Azerbaijan refuses to register independent media
- How a sex therapist started teaching sex education at a school in Baku
- Why Iranian drones have become a problem for Ukraine, but won’t help Russia
The Baku government considered the protest by the opposition Popular Front Party (PFPA) “inappropriate”.
The PFPA appealed to the mayor’s office with an appeal about the intention to hold a protest. It was planned to voice demands to ensure freedom of assembly, release political prisoners, hold free elections and democratic reforms, and open the land borders of Azerbaijan. Vahid Maharramli, a member of the PFPA leadership, informed Turan of this.
In a response letter from government of Baku, it was noted that the proposed location of the protest is located near “heavy traffic”, a metro station and schools. “An opposition protest can lead to serious difficulties for the free movement and security of citizens,” the mayor’s office noted.
The opposition deemed the answer unlawful and intends to hold the rally anyway.
“According to the Constitution of Azerbaijan, freedom of assembly is a fundamental right. It cannot be limited. If the city authorities consider it unacceptable to hold a rally at the proposed location, they must offer alternative options. However, this was not done. Therefore, using constitutional right, we will hold the protest as planned, on November 11,” Maharramli said.
Article 49 of the Constitution of Azerbaijan.
Freedom of assembly
I. Everyone has freedom of assembly.
II. Everyone has the right, having notified the relevant state authorities in advance, to peacefully and without weapons gather together with others, hold meetings, rallies, demonstrations, street processions and picketing.
On Oct 24 the PFPA made an attempt to hold a rally with similar demands in front of the city administration building. The police severely suppressed the action, detaining over 100 protesters.
Appeal from the US Embassy in Baku
The US Embassy in Azerbaijan expressed concern about obstacles to peaceful assemblies.
“We remain concerned about pressure on citizens exercising their constitutional rights in Azerbaijan. We call on the government to respect the rights of its citizens, including the right to peaceful assembly,” Alice Spencely, spokeswoman for the US Embassy in Baku, said in answer to a query from Turan.
Azerbaijani government urged to respect the rights of citizens