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Stealing news from Azerbaijan.
Mass arrests seem to have started ahead of 2 April opposition protest, as they did before 11 and 12 March protests. This started when two days ago an Azerbaijan Democratic Party member was arrested, but has picked up today when several activists were arrested, some already sentenced to 5 or 10 days in prison.
Tebriz Oner (Gasimov)
The first of those arrested was Tebriz Oner (who was previously detained for 5 days on his way to 11 March protest), who was held by police on his way to university. His father Ilgar Gasiov spoke to Azadliq Radiosu (RFE/RL’s Azeri Service) from the police station: “Two men had been following him. They told the policemen at the metro station to stop him. He is now at Sabail district 9th police station.” Mr Gasimov said that it is unclear why his son was arrested but that it might be in relation to the 2 April protest. He was charged with showing resistance to police and sentenced to five days in prison.
Youth activist Rovshen Nesirli called Azadliq Radiosu this morning saying that when he left his house this morning, policemen from Yasamal police station wanted to detain him. He said that he would not go to the station until there was an official summons. Policemen were waiting for him outside his house as he was making the call, but he said he would not leave his house until they leave. Later it became known that he was taken to Yasamal police station along with his brother.
Oposition party youth activists
Two members of Musavat Youth Organization have been detained by police: Elchin Salimov in Sumgait and Khalid Amanli in Nasimi. The organization says that police also tried to detain Rauf Mammadov, but he ran away. His whereabouts are now unknown.
Two Classic Popular Front Party (KXCP) members have also been detained. Chairman of the Aghsu branch of the party Yagub Babali told Azadliq Radiosu that he was given a warning regarding the upcoming protest and released. Chairman of Samukh branch Tahir Abdullayev is still at the police station.
There are also detainees from Azerbaijan Popular Front Party (APFP) Youth Committee.
Senior opposition arrests
APFP: Ilham Huseynli, member of the presidium of APFP, was detained while he was out. Another member of the presidium and economist Nemat Aliyev was also detained by police and is currently being held at 25th police station in Nizami and charged with disturbing the peace. Ali Kerimli’s driver Kerim Mehdiyev has also been taken from his house and detained.
Musavat: Vugar Hasanli, member of Musavat Party in Shirvan, has been detained.
*** UPDATE 01.04.2011 ***
Elchin Salimov (Musavat) and Ilham Huseynli (APFP) were sentenced to 7 days last night.
Rovshan Nesirli was sentenced to 9 days. His appeal from 11 March protest was also looked at today and rejected.
In Tebriz Oner’s case, the court did not wait for his lawyer and gave the verdict anyway.
Classic Popular Front Party members Ali Bashirli (chairman of Shirvan branch), Shukur Izzatoghlu, Khanlar Lachinov, Shohret Mammadov (chairman of Gazakh branch) and Magsad Mirzayev have been held and taken to the respective police stations.
Shahin Hasanli (APFP, member of presidium) was taken from his friend’s house at 3am last night. His family is being refused any information on his whereabouts.
Khaladdin Abudalov (KXCP, chairman of Gazakh branch) told Azadliq Radiosu that some opposition party members in Gazakh have had their homes searched, some have been taken to police stations and told not to attend tomorrow’s protest.
Information source: RFE/RL Azeri