Azerbaijan: An Illusion (7 of 12)

11 more in collection THE ILLUSION OF AZERBAIJAN , 10 more in collection Editor's Picks 26 April 2013

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Woman screaming before she is driven of by police.
The woman was a part of a peaceful protest during the Eurovision. After the woman was targeted she was quietly taken to the vehicle by several police officers and undercover agents.
There is a lack of freedom of speech. You have a certain space to speak out but only light criticism is tolerated. During the Eurovision the authorities struck down hard on anyone trying to draw attention to Azerbaijan’s poor human rights record.

According to Max Tucker of Amnesty international it can be very dangerous to be a part of a protest and that way speak your mind.

“Protesters are arrested just for shouting the word freedom. It can get you up to 10 days in prison. If you are organizing the protest you can get several years in prison.”

Another approach is to arrest everyone that is believed to be a part of the protest take them to the police station and registrate them. There have been reports of people being interrogated about their political persuasion. When the interrogation is over people will be driven out into the desert and left to find their way back on their own. It is an effective way to dismantle the protest.

During the Eurovision this happened during at least one demonstration that took place in front of the national TV station.
As of now there are at least 5 political prisoners in jails in Azerbaijan and other ongoing investigations into opposition people.

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