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Tazakhan Miralamli beaten and arrested

APFP’s bureaucrat Tazakhan Miralamli, who was trying to bring food for his son. The deputy chief of Jalilabad police station hit and verbally abused Miralamli, then proceeding to arrest him.

Tazakhan Miralamli, chairman of APFP’s Jalilabad division, has been subjected to physical pressure and threatened. This took place on the morning of 3 July. Deputy chief of the station Eldar Safarov hit Tazakhan Miralamli, verbally abused him, and started to prepare to arrest him on charges of “showing restraing to the police”.

This is according to information given to Azadliq newspaper by Mr Miralamli himself.

Tazakhan Miralamli came to the police station in order to bring some food for his son Vasif Miralamli, who was arrested this April. Vasif Miralamov was taken to Jalilabad police station from Baku a few days ago, in order to take his testimony. When Tazakhan Miralamli arrived there, he was treated badly. He was not allowed to visit his son and the products he brought were not accepted. Later, the deputy chief of the police station Eldar Safarov started an argument with Tazakhan Miralamli and hit him.

In order to cover up the violence, Mr Safarov started the process of arresting Tazakhan Miralamli. The deputy chief, who knew that Miralamli would politicize and publicize the issue and make a complaint, created a false statement saying that the APFP bureaucrat showed restraint to police. He was kept at the police station for this “reason”.

Miralamli is currently being held at Jalilabad police station. After he informed Azadliq about the events, it was not possible to contact him. His mobile phone was probably confiscated from him at the police station.

The Azerbaijan Popular Front Party, which Mr Miralamli represents, says that local civil rights defenders have been informed about the situation. International organizations will be addressed to defend Miralamli.

***

Tazakhan Miralamli was also one of the protesters severly beaten during the 2 April protests.

***

Original in Azeri here [Azadliq]

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Bakhtiyar Hajiyev’s mother held for questioning

Imprisoned youth activist Bakhtiyar Hajiyev’s mother Solida Movlayeva placed her membership to New Azerbaijan Party on the grave of the late ex-president Heydar Aliyev.

She stated that she left the ruling party as a sign of protest against her son’s imprisonment.

Soon after, law enforcement agents arrived at the scene and detained Bakhtiyar Hajiyev’s mother and a cameraman from IRFS. According to AzadliqRadiosu‘s reporter who was at the scene, the law enforcement agents stated that Solida Movlayeva and the IRFS worker were detained in order to clarify the situation.

In atelephone interview to AzadliqRadiosu, Ms Movlayeva said that she was taken to the Presidential Administration Headquarters for questioning and was told that she was detained because her foot crossed the threshold to Heydar Aliyev’s grave. She added that she joined the New Azerbaijan Party in 1995 of her own free will, as she wanted Heydar Aliyev’s party to have one more member. Seeing the injustices taking place today, she wanted to return the membership to Heydar Aliyev.

After half an hour of questioning, Solida Movlayeva was released. IRFS’s video footage was erased.

Information taken from RFE/RL Azeri Service. Article in Azeri, along with a video, can be found here.

Opposition activist excluded from Baku State University

Javid Mehraliyev, 3rd year History student at Baku State University, has told AzadliqRadiosu (RFE/RL Azeri service) that he has been excluded from the university.

The official reason behind his exclusion is his continuous absence from classes, but he says that it is because of his participation at opposition rallies: “I was given the order today, but it is dated 5 April. I was in class on the 5th. If I was absent on 5 April, they would have written that in the journal. They wrote that I was absent on the 5th only today. According to University rules, when you miss 100 hours of class an official warning has to be given. I never received such a warning, they just started these scare tactics as soon as I was released from prison. Then the dean comes up to me and tells me that I’ve missed 158 hours of class. I said, but you’re supposed to give me a warning when it reaches 100 hours. He told me to stay out of their business. Even though the order was signed on the 5th, they have noted me as absent on 6, 7, 8 and 11 April as well. How does that work?”

Parvana Ibrahimova, head of the press office at Baku State University, told AzadliqRadiosu that J. Merhaliyev missed 132 hours of class in the 2009-2010 academic year but was allowed to stay on the course. Having missed 158 hours this year, he had to be excluded.

J. Merhaliyev is a member of Classic Popular Front Party, which is a member of the Public Chamber. The police detained him during the 2 April protest and sentenced him to three days in prison.

He says he will go to court for the protection of his rights.

Original in Azeri [RFE/RL]

Daughter of opposition activist excluded from school after protest

Director of studies: “We followed the Education Ministry’s instructions.”

Six-year-old Sevinj Ahmadova, daughter of Ibrahim Ahmadzade – member of Ictimai Palata (“Public Chamber”) – has been excluded from school. In an interview with “Demokrat” newspaper on 7 April, Irahim Ahmadzade’s wife Gulnara Ahmadova says that her daughter was excluded from school on the day her husband was arrested – 31 March.

Ibrahim Ahmadzade was detained on 31 March; Sumgait Court sentenced him to 7 days administrative detention.

Gulara Ahmadova says that before her husband’s arrest, there were no problems with Sevinj Ahmadova wearing a hijab: “The primary reason for our daughter being excluded is Ibrahim actively taking part in Musavat Party’s protest in Baku on 12 March. He was called to the police station several times in order to stop him from taking part in the protest on 2 April. Then they arrested him without even informing us, and excluded my daughter from school. Sevinj went to school with a headscarf on before Ibrahim’s arrest and nobody said anything. As soon as Ibrahim was active in protests against the government, the headscarf became a problem.”

Original in Azeri [“Azadliq” newspaper]

Journalist Ramin Deko: kidnapped yesterday, beaten today


Journalist from Azadliq newspaper Ramin Deko says that on 3 April at around 10am, three plainclothesmen took him to the Mashtagha area. He told Azadliq Radiosu (RFE/RL Azeri service) that throughout the journey they were advising him to “be smart”. Later, he says, until 4pm he was held in an unknown house and had to listen to people praising the government’s politics. He adds that they mentioned his activeness during the opposition protests and advised him to stop taking part in this:

“They said to me that, we’re giving you advice: work for “Yeni Azerbaijan” newspaper, then good conditions will be created for you. They didn’t use physical force on me, but they pressured me morally. I was seated into a car – a 2107 “Jiguli” – as I was buying a newspaper from a kiosk, and my phone was taken away and switched off immediately.

Ramin Deko says that about six hours later he was released in the Binagadi area, out of a car of a foreign model: “They brought me in a black foreign car. On the way they said that, if you behave yourself, if you leave “Azadliq” newspaper, you’ll have a car like this too.”

He says he has not yet decided whether he will complain to human rights protection organs, but is preparing to address Rights Defense Institute.

Orkhan Mansurzada, Head of the Press Office department at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, says that if such an incident occurred, the journalist must contact a local police station or call 102 so that an investigation is made.

Note: on the night of 25-26 March Seymur Haziyev, also from Azadliq newspaper, says he was kidnapped and beaten by 6 masked thugs.

Minister of Internal Affairs Ramil Usubov said that he would discuss the issue with the journalist personally in a meeting.

Original in Azeri [RFE/RL]

***UPDATE***

On his way home from work on 4 April at around 21:20 local time, Ramin Deko says he was beaten by two unidentified men near the National Academy of Science. He says he got injuries of various gravity, and was able to save himself by running away. He says that once again he was told to not participate in opposition protests and to “be smart”.

“My shirt was torn, they hit me in the face and kidneys. I saved myself from them by running away. I just returned to Azerbaijan publishing house, to Azadliq newspaper’s editorial office. I’m just sitting down waiting to see what to do, where to go, I don’t know.”

Ilkin Gambar sent to the front line – in connection to protests?

Ilkin Gambar, son of Musavat Party leader Isa Gambar, has been sent to the front line today after serving over 2 months in the army. News came in via Facebook, where he told his friends that his father was unofficially warned about his son being taken to the front line. There were also some reports that this was part of a threat to Isa Gambar, and that he was told that his son is being sent to the front line to avenge the 2 April protests – if more protests were arranged his son would be ‘martyred’. This is unconfirmed.

When asked by Musavat.com how he assesses this as a political figure and a father, Isa Gambar said: “The Ministry of Defence has a right to place soldiers in any location at its disposal. So I don’t want to politicize this issue. At the same time I’d like to say that the Commander In Chief and the Minister of Defense carry responsibility for each and every soldier’s life.”

Isa Gambar did not want to comment on whether he considers this a personal threat towards him after the recent opposition protests.

Source: Facebook; Yeni Musavat

APFP chairman Ali Karimli targeted in a protest outside his house

31 March, Genocide Day in Azerbaijan, was commemorated in a different way this year. Ali Karimli, chairman of Azerbaijan Popular Front Party, was targeted as a large group consisting mostly of students gathered outside his house chanting, singing and holding placards.

These placards had slogans like “There’s no place in Azerbaijan for the Ali Karimli’s of this world, who sell our land to Armenians!”, “Shame on the traitor!”, “Ali Karimli, what money does your family live on in London?” and “Ali Karimli + radical islamists = chaos”. This comes after yesterday’s rumors spread by pro-Aliyev media outlets stating that Ali Karimli was to meet and “conspire” with a number of radical Islamist groups.

They also chanted slogans in support of the Aliyev regime: “Long live Ilham Aliyev!”, “Our only president, our only leader is Ilham Aliyev”, and other slogans in support of the ruling party. Videos show a student singing “Mavi” (“Blue”, meaning “gay” in Azeri slang) through a loudspeaker – part of a black PR campaign against Karimli that started years ago.

The protest continued to Heydar Aliyev Palace. Unsurprisingly the police did not interfere, despite the fact that the protest impeded traffic.

Ali Karimli told Azadliq Radiosu that this was clearly a stunt conducted by the government and that such actions will not stop him from fighting. He also warned party members not to go near the protest so that there would not be any confrontation.

Mass arrests ahead of 2 April protest [updated]

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.

Rovshen Nesirli

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 ***

Yesterday’s arrests:

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.


Today’s arrests
:

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

Will the shutting down of BBC Azeri Service lead to progress for new & social media?

In 1994 the BBC Azeri Service was the 40th to be added to the vast list of languages the BBC World Service broadcasts in. On 25 March it broadcast its last radio program, after the BBC budget cuts forced several services to be shut down.

Despite assertions that this move to shut down the BBC Azeri radio service is just playing into the hands of the Aliyev regime, head of BBC Central Asia and Caucasus Service Hamid Ismailov counters this argument, saying that the Azeri service will continue its activities online, and the cuts only mean that there will no longer be radio broadcasts. He adds that this will allow the service to concentrate on its online operations, where a much broader range of activity is possible: the fact that the Azerbaijani population mainly consists of youths means that broadcasts via Facebook, Twitter, blogs and other social networking tools are attracting large audiences – the BBC can and should make use of these.

In an interview to the BBC Azeri service during its last radio broadcast, Regional Editor for Caucasus at Global Voices Online Onnik Krikorian says he prefers to see new and social media as simply a tool: saying that it creates revolutions would be incorrect, as that depends on those who utilize this media. He notes that users of Twitter and Facebook in Azerbaijan are very active, whereas in Armenia this is not the case – yet looking at the number of people taking part in protests, the opposite is true. “I think it is very interesting to look at the way use of new media is progressing in these regions. The government is very aware of this progress, so the main objective now is not to let them to take over new media in the future.”

Blogger and youth activist Emin Milli had this to say: “Looking at the BBC Azeri service in the field of media, it is more of a charity organization rather than a business. With regard to politics, you cannot put all countries on the same level. In democratic countries like Great Britain, such decisions can still be influenced. So I think that, even if this resolution takes effect from 1 April, it can be changed at some point.”

Final radio broadcast of BBC Azeri

ADP activist sentenced to 5 days in prison

On 29 March Nazim Abbasli, an Azerbaijan Democratic Party (ADP) activist, was taken from his home to the police station, and then to court.

Narimanov District Court ruled that N. Abbasli was showing restraint to police and sentenced him to five days in prison. Abbasli is currently at Binagadi temporary detention center.

This news was spread by ADP’s press office.

ADP says that Nazim Abbasli did not show restraint to police and that his arrest is related to Social House’s protest planned for 2 April.

Original in Azeri [RFE/RL]

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