Human rights activists condemned the arrests of activists for anti-war statements
Baku/25.09.23/Turan: Six civil and religious activists have been arrested in Azerbaijan over the past week, human rights activist Zafar Akhmedov told Turan. According to him, among the arrested are public activists Ruslan Vahabov, Movsum Mammadov and Javid Aliyev, journalist Nurlan Libre, believers Elvin Sadfgov and Isfendiyar Mammadov (a member of the Muslim Unity Movement). Sadygov, I. Mammadov and Vahabov were charged with drug trafficking, the rest were arrested administratively.
The Public Council of Talyshs of Azerbaijan (PCTA), in turn, notes in its statement that Vakhabov was detained on September 22. At the same time, no information was provided to his family and it was only on the morning of September 25 that it turned out that a day earlier he had been arrested by a court decision for the period of investigation for a period of 4 months in connection with charges of drug trafficking.
"Ruslan Vahabov is a public activist. He criticized the activities of certain institutions of the Azerbaijani government on social networks. At the same time, as a representative of the Talysh ethnic group, he advocated ensuring the constitutional national and cultural rights of his people. For public activity, he was previously subjected to verbal warnings from the police," the statement of the PCTA says.
The organization believes that Vahabov is not a drug user and dealer, and the charges against him are fabricated and he is being persecuted for his active civic position.
"We strongly condemn the arrests carried out by law enforcement agencies against active representatives of civil society in the current sensitive political situation. We believe that these arrests on trumped-up charges are a provocation directed against the creation of a fair, democratic, civilized and equal civil society in our country," the OST statement said.
Rufat Safarov, Executive Director of the human rights organization "Line of Protection", believes that speaking about the policy of reintegration of Karabakh Armenians, it is necessary to work in the spirit of general respect for human rights and freedoms in the country.
"We must be tolerant of alternative opinions. However, we see the continuation of politically motivated persecution. Recently, people opposed to the war have been arrested, including journalists, bloggers, public figures and political critics. I believe that the special repressive measures taken at such a sensitive and responsible moment weaken the positions of Azerbaijani diplomacy and the military," Safarov said.
The head of the Center for Monitoring Elections and Democracy Education Anar Mammadli wrote on his Facebook page that the arrests of public activists for criticizing the anti-terrorist operation and the deprivation of their freedom for political reasons reduces the effectiveness of statements about peace and reintegration. ---03B---