Friday wrap-up: Novruz, D18 movement kicked out of office, National Council calls for rally

Azerbaijan celebrates Novruz. Image: Meydan TV

Azerbaijan celebrated Novruz during the week of March 21-25. On the 20th, the political movement D18 was kicked out of their office again after police allegedly threatened them, and the National Council has called for a rally to support Ukraine.

D18 vacates office after police visit

On March 15, police reportedly visited the office of the D18 (Democracy 1918) Movement. The movement was founded in 2013, brings together dissidents, and considers the establishment of a democratic society in the country a priority.

According to Ahmad Mammadli, the movement’s leader, two plainclothes operatives entered when they were leaving the office. He says they first made up multiple reasons for coming, such as complaints from residents and tax evasion, before making veiled threats that drugs could “come out” of the office.

After the incident, the owner of the office asked the movement to vacate. They moved out five days later.

The spokesman for the Interior Ministry Elshad Hajiyev stated when asked about the incident, that the claims were “baseless and manipulative”.

National Council calls for Ukraine rally

The National Council of Democratic Forces has decided to hold a rally in support of Ukraine on 2 April.

Tofig Yagublu, a member of the Coordination Center of the National Council, posted the information on his Facebook page The action is planned to be held from 15.00 to 17.00 local time.

“The purpose of the rally is to express the support of the Azerbaijani people to the Ukrainian people, who were subjected to Russian military aggression. The rally will be held if agreed with the city authorities,” Yagublu said.

Azerbaijan celebrates Novruz quarantine-free

Unlike the previous two years, this year Azerbaijan celebrates Novruz without quarantine restrictions. There are more people on the streets, but many have gotten discouraged by the weather – it is unusually cold in Baku for this time of year.

See JAMNews’ photo series here.

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