Opposition intends to continue rallies (Updated)

Baku / 23.09.17 / Turan: "There is no corruption, freedom for political prisoners" is the motto of the Saturday rally of the opposition. Participants in the opposition rally demanded that the authorities "return the money stolen from the people". This thought sounded a refrain in all speeches at the rally. "This corrupt regime, which tramples our rights for decades, is now caught red-handed. Now there is evidence of this corruption,"said the leader of the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan, Ai Kerimli. Now it's time to return the people stolen money from him, Kerimli added. "The people do not want much. The people say that you have plundered billions of the country. Now at least raise salaries for workers, raise pensions, allowances, create jobs, cancel paid education. Enough already to plunder the wealth of the country,"Kerimli continued. He also called for the release of political prisoners. At the same time, Kerimli pointed out that in the process of preparing for the rally 53 activists of the PFPA were detained.

IlhamHuseyn, who was supposed to be the leading rally, was arrested the day before for 15 days. Other members of the party Emil Salamov, SagifGurbanov, BahruzHasanli, AgilMaharramov were arrested for the same terms. "The purpose of these arrests is not to allow rallies to be protracted. But everyone cannot be arrested,"Kerimli said. NuraddinMammadli, chairman of the Supreme Majlis of the PFPA, drew attention to the obstacles created by activists in the regions to put their participation in the rally. Jamil Hasanli, chairman of the National Council of Democratic Forces (NCDF), accused the authorities of "corruption and theft".

"This power is used to steal. She stole from the people the right to free elections, stole national wealth. And finally she stole the journalist AfganMukhtarly from Tbilisi,"Hasanli said sarcastically. He focused on the authorities' suppression of media freedom. Hasanli pointed to the blocking of websites criticizing the government, the closure of the newspaper Azadlig and finally attempts to eliminate the agency Turan. "This power is struggling with free media to prevent the people's voice from reaching the international community," Hasanli said.He said that the struggle of democratic forces continues, and on October 7 at 15.00 the next meeting is scheduled. Exactly at 17.00 at the stadium was turned off electricity and the organizers could not read the resolution of the action. Participants of the action periodically chanted the slogans "Resign!", "Freedom!".- 06D--

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2017 September 23 (Saturday) 15:11:05

The protest rally of the National Council of Democratic Forces

Baku / 23.09.17 / Turan: Several thousand people gathered on Saturday for a protest rally of the National Council of Democratic Forces, which began at 15:00 at the stadium "Mehsul" in the Yasamal district of Baku. The rally is held under the slogan "Return the money stolen from the people!", almost $3 billion, which were illegally exported from the country under various pretexts in recent years and spent on bribery and lobbying the interests of the Azerbaijani authorities abroad. These facts were revealed by the international journalistic organization Center for the Study of Corruption and Organized Crime (OCCRP).

In particular, it was alleged that Baku bribed the German politician Eduard Lintner (former head of the PACE monitoring committee), the Bulgarian politician Irina Bokova (former UNESCO Director-General) and Italian politician Luca Bolonte (former vice-president of PACE).

Lintner led the commission of observers from Germany in the presidential elections in Azerbaijan in 2013, Bokova held the photo exhibition "Azerbaijan - the space of tolerance" in the same year. In turn, Bolton received money to prevent the adoption of the resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on political prisoners in Azerbaijan, Radio Liberty reports.

The OCCRP argue that most of the funds that the Azerbaijani authorities brought to the accounts of fictitious British companies belonged to Azerbaijani banks, including the state-owned International Bank of Azerbaijan. In addition, the Russian state company Rosoboronexport transferred $ 29 million to the "front man from Azerbaijan" in 2012. Two million dollars, presumably, went to bribes, the rest of the amount, it is claimed, went to the structures connected with high-ranking officials of Azerbaijan.

However, the Azerbaijani government rejected all these accusations, saying that they are being spread by the Armenian lobby and philanthropist and businessman George Soros.

The opposition of Azerbaijan considers the OCCRP report to be real and objective and requires the government to give explanations. -02D-

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