Friday Wrap-up: arrested chess coach, people stranding at the Russian-Azerbaijani border and a Novruz without amnesty

Illustration of the Russian-Azerbaijani border situation. Source: Meydan TV

The week of March 14-18 saw Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA) member arrested in Ganja, hundreds of people remain on the Russian-Azerbaijani border and expected Novruz’s amnesty act not issued this year.

PFPA member arrested in Ganja claims he was abused and tortured

Shahin Hajiyev, a member of the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA) and a chess coach in Ganja, was arrested for holding large quantities of drugs for sale. He denies the accusations, claiming that the drug was planted by the police.

As reported by witnesses, while Hajiyev was waiting for a neighbor in front of his house, policemen wearing plainclothes entered his house in an aggressive and violent manner, and took the chess coach with them. Hajiyev claims he was abused and tortured during his detention.

The PPFA stated that the drug charges against him are false and that Hajiyev was punished by posting critics to the government is his social media accounts. According to the political party, he is constantly persecuted for his political views, and was detained several times by police in 2021.

Russian-Ukrainian War: hundreds of people remain on the Russian-Azerbaijani border

Several Azerbaijani, Russian, Ukrainian and Turkish citizens who left the Russia after the invasion of Ukraine are not allowed to enter Azerbaijan and remain at the Samur Customs Post, in the border between the country and Russia.

According to Tuncel Ertunk, who has been at the border for three days, border control does not let people enter Azerbaijan nor return to Russian territory, leaving them stranded in the customs. The situation is drastic: there are no bathrooms and people are deprived of food and communication services.

Meydan TV tried to obtain information on the situation from relevant authorities in Azerbaijan, however, neither State Border Service nor the State Customs Committee answered.

2022 Novruz’s amnesty act not issued by Aliyev

Human rights activists are disappointed that President Ilham Aliyev did not issue the traditional amnesty order on the eve of Novruz holiday this year.

President Aliyev traditionally sings a general pardon decree every year on the occasion of the Novruz’s festivities. As a result, lots of prisoners had their commendations annulled and were released. However, this year no amnesty act was signed by him.

Rufat Safarov, the executive director of the Defense Line organization, said at a press conference on March 17 that the amnesty this year was much expected and is very unfortunate it did not happen. He criticized the government for playing with the feelings of the families of political prisoners.

Ana səhifəNewsFriday Wrap-up: arrested chess coach, people stranding at the Russian-Azerbaijani border and a Novruz without amnesty