The events that took place during the week-end in Baku, where unsanctioned rallies were brutally dispersed by the police, raise grave concerns about police conduct and people’s right to peaceful protest in Azerbaijan.
On 19 October, attempts by the opposition to rally in the city centre were met by police violence. About 100 persons (60 persons according to the authorities), including an opposition leader, are reported to have been arrested and detained, some of them ahead of the rally, which the organisers had notified to the authorities. People were also prevented from joining the peaceful demonstration as three subway stations were closed, and the main streets were blocked by the police. On 20 October, a peaceful protest against increasing feminicides and domestic violence was also dispersed. Footage from the protest is deeply worrying, particularly taking into account the aim of the protest, namely stopping feminicide and calling for the ratification of the Council of Europe Istanbul Convention.
Further details and source: Council of Europe