Friday Wrap-up: a protest on the streets and another in a congress; internet freedom

Illustration: Meydan TV

The week of October 24-28 saw a political protest in Baku, another one at the congress of the Union of Writers and the Internet Freedom Index for Azerbaijan.

Protest action in Baku ends up with detainees

Opposition party Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan held an action on Monday in Baku. The plan of holding a demonstration had been previously rejected by the Baku City Executive Authority. 

The participants of the action shouted the slogans “Freedom” and “Resignation” in the central areas of the city. At present, one-on-one protest sounds are heard in different places. Some of those detained said that they faced police violence and were even forced into a car.

More than 20 people were detained. Most of them are political activists affiliated to opposition parties. The police also took some activists from their houses before the action to prevent them of going. Anvar Aghamalizade, for example, was taken from his home by police officers in the morning. In the information released by the ADR Party, it is stated that they have no information about where he was taken. The party demanded the immediate release of Aghamalizade.

Azerbaijani Union of Writer’s Congress: Candidates protested and left the hall

At the congress of the Azerbaijani Union of Writers (AUW) held this week in Baku, an election for a president for the Union was held.

Two candidates, Emil Rasimoglu and Fuad Jafarli, protested and left the hall as they were not given the floor.

“I am the person who submitted my candidacy to the parliament. They promised me there, but they did not give it at the congress. Why? This is a fiasco,” Fuad Jafarli protested.

“If you ignore my word and announce Anar’s [current president of the AUW] vote and thereby complete the event, then you are just repeating this convention like the previous ones,” poet Emil Rasimoglu said.

As a result of the voting, the only allowed candidate, Anar Rzayev, was elected to be the chairman of the AUW for the next 5 years.

“I will do whatever is possible within five years. If I stay for five years. Swallow the poisons of the press, if I can live from now on. After five years, you can choose whoever you want,” Rzayev said.

Azerbaijan is among the countries where the Internet is not free

Freedom House’s 2022 Internet Freedom Report has been released.

Regarding Azerbaijan, the report draws attention to “a restrictive law on media that has been adopted in Azerbaijan. Foreign funding of the media is also prohibited. The new law “On Media” has worsened the current situation. Due to state persecution, in some cases, journalists in Azerbaijan have been forced to operate from abroad.”

As for Internet freedom, Azerbaijan is among the countries with 38 points where the Internet is not free. As for the countries neighboring Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia are among the countries where the internet is free. Internet is not free in Turkey, Iran, Kazakhstan and Russia.

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