Activist Giyas Ibrahimov takes solitary stand against police violence

The young activist was accused of minor hooliganism.

Foto: Meydan TV

Former political prisoner Giyas Ibrahimov, who was released from custody on Wednesday, a day after being detained for protesting police brutality in Azerbaijan, has now received a fine for his actions.

The young activist was accused of minor hooliganism and fined 50 AZN (25 EUR).

On June 9, Ibrahimov held an individual protest on the roof of his building in Baku and hung a banner saying “Enough, don’t be silent, speak up”.

According to the Baku City Police Department spokesperson Elshad Hajiyev, Ibrahimov told police that he would commit suicide after climbing on the roof of his building.

After his release today, the young activist said he never intended to commit suicide.

“It was a protest,” Ibrahimov said adding that his aim was to protest against how the police officers behaved towards the residents of Dadash Bunyadzadeh street in Baku the day before.

The police launched an operation in a 13-story building in Baku's Yasamal district on 8 June. Some male residents were arbitrarily detained and videos spread on social media showed police violently dragging them into vans.

It came a day after residents of the same building threw garbage on police officers who tried to detain a resident allegedly violating the weekend lockdown in Baku.

In total, 11 residents were detained and brutally beaten in custody; many were released with visible bruises on their faces. One man stated he had been beated by 30 policemen for five hours.

“The video [on social media] shocked even apolitical people, and I could not keep quiet,” Ibrahimov said. He also said that he was forced by police officers to confess he did not hold a protest.

“It's not true. I didn't say "I'll throw myself off the building". You can also see it in the video,” he added.

The Interior Ministry has not yet commented on the incident.

Ibrahimov, along with his fried Bayram Mammadov, was arrested for painting a slogan on a statue of ex-president Heydar Aliyev in Baku in 2016 and sentenced to 10 years in prison on fabricated drug charges. He was released in March 2019 as part of a sweeping presidential pardon that saw over 50 political prisoners freed.

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