Police summon opposition activists over participation in authorized rally

On 3 October, the police summoned members of the Democratic Party and the Classic Popular Front Party over their participation in a rally 10 days earlier organized by the opposition National Council of Democratic Forces (NCDF).

Sardar Jalaloghlu, the leader of the Democratic Party, said that the police summoned party official Nuraddin Ismayilov, first party deputy chairman Hasrat Rustamov, and member of the party board Zakir Huseynov.

"The police are abusing their power and violating citizens' rights that are protected by the constitution. The rally held on 23 September was authorized by the Baku city executive authorities. Therefore, it is unacceptable to demand any explanations from people who took part in the legal event," Jalaloglu said.

On the same day, the police summoned members of the Classic Popular Front Party. It is noteworthy that these parties are not members of the opposition NCDF and are not among the organizers of the rally.

The NCDF rally took place at a stadium on the outskirts of Baku on 23 September. The time and venue of the protest had been agreed with the city authorities. The rally was held under the slogans "Give back the money stolen from the people!" and "No robbery!"

The protesters demanded investigation into reports of money laundering and bribes paid by Azerbaijan's ruling elite to European politicians. A recent series of investigations revealed that almost $3 billion has been smuggled out of the country over the past few years under various pretexts and has been used to pay bribes and lobby the interests of the Azerbaijani authorities abroad.

The next NCDF protest is scheduled for 7 October.

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