Participants of Opposition Rally Condemn Authorities for Corruption and Demand Reforms (UPDATED)

Baku / 28.10.17 / Turan: Participants of the Saturday rally of the opposition at the stadium of the Yasamal district of Baku condemned the authorities of Azerbaijan for corruption and demanded urgent implementation of democratic reforms and release of political prisoners.

A member of the National Council of Democratic Forces (NCDF) Coordination Center, expert on agrarian issues Vahid Maharramli focused on the economic problems of the country. According to him, the year 2017 will also be a year of economic regress. He noted that during the crisis the Azerbaijani economy was reduced twofold. "With this thinking, intelligence and abilities, they (the authorities) cannot achieve anything. We must show them the way. Their way is retirement," said Maharramli.

The head of the Youth Committee of the Popular Front Party Ilham Huseyn drew attention to the fact that the country's television channels are trying to present the situation in Azerbaijan as rainbow in the background of cataclysms around the world. "On TV we are shown floods in Europe, tsunami in Japan, hurricanes in the USA, and forest fires. They will cope with this. You better prevent the disaster here. Can there be a worse disaster than corruption, lawlessness and repression?" the activist said.

The human rights activist Ogtay Gyulaliyev focused on torture in penitentiary institutions. "The former investigator Rufat Safarov was severely beaten and put in a punishment cell. The youth activist Bayram Mammadov, who was arrested because of a graffiti on a monument, was also imprisoned in a punishment cell. This power is fighting against worthy citizens of Azerbaijan," Gyulaliyev said.

He also announced restrictions on press freedom. "Independent and opposition sites are blocked. There are more than 160 political prisoners in the country. About 20 of them are journalists and bloggers. Azerbaijan is the leader in Europe in terms of the number of political prisoners," Gyulaliyev said.

The leader of the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA), Ali Kerimli, subjected the government to tough criticism. He noted that due to corruption, which has hit all spheres of life, Azerbaijan is lagging behind its neighbors in the region in many social parameters. According to him, during 24 years of the government's rule, not a single problem of the country was solved, and there is no progress in the settlement of the Karabakh conflict and the return of the occupied territories.

"For 24 years, the authorities have never held democratic elections," he said. At the same time, Kerimli stated that, despite repression and deprivation, democratic forces continue to struggle for freedom and will never turn away from this path.

Kerimli noted that NCDF temporarily suspends the protests. However, according to him, this does not mean that the rallies cease. "We will have even more massive, strong actions and the National Council will notify about it," Kerimli said.

Participants of the action periodically chanted the slogan "Resignation". Police officers intervened intermittently, making claims about the content of the speeches made. Several thousand people took part in the rally. -03C06--

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2017 October 28 (Saturday) 15:06:05

Opposition Rally Started

Baku / 28.10.17 / Turan: An opposition rally began in the Mehsul stadium in the Yasamal district of Baku at 15:00 under the slogan: No Corruption, Freedom for Political Prisoners, organized by the National Council of Democratic Forces.

As the head of the Popular Front Party Ali Kerimli said on the eve of the action, the action is aimed at protesting against "corruption, lies, falsifications and embezzlement", and demanding the return of illegally exported $ 3 billion to the country.

In addition, during the action, a demand will be put forward for the release of political prisoners, the number of which exceeds 150 today.

Participants in the action hold posters with portraits of political prisoners and slogans of a political and social nature.

In connection with the rally, increased security measures were adopted. Police forces are concentrated around the area. All people entering the stadium are checked by detectors one by one.

There is no access to Internet around the location of rally place.

Earlier, the authorities announced the destruction of three armed terrorists who were allegedly preparing terrorist attacks at this rally. -06D--

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