Prisoners in Siyazan are hunger striking to protest delays in their court proceedings. Arrested in January 2016 for participating in public demonstrations against rising food prices, the “Siyazan prisoners”, as they are known locally, are appealing their convictions. Their lawyer Elchin Sadigov has reported that on June 20, the Appellate court postponed consideration of their complaint for an indefinite period.
After the second devaluation of the national currency last January, prices for flour and other essential goods shot up, putting pressure on already strained household budgets. Siyazan, a coastal town north of Baku, was one of several places where residents took to the streets in protest. On January 12-13, clashes with police equipped with tear gas and rubber bullets led to the detention of 55 people, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Prosecutor’s General Office.
Of those, 11 were arrested and convicted on charges including.
Causing damage to property of others, hooliganism, illegal storage of weapons, violating public order, illegal drug trafficking, and resisting police.
In March 2016, the Guba City Court issued sentences ranging from 2 to 6 years.