Youth activist of Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PPFA) Mr. Dayanat Babayev was administratively arrested on 17th of November protest rally in capital Baku and was released on 24 November after having completed a 7-day administrative arrest and immediately on the spot was again re-arrested as a suspect in a criminal case of hooliganism.
The Interior Ministry says he together with Musa Rahim and Elvin Baijan (both are also PFPA members and activists), in the evening of 7 November insulted Tofig Salimov in Nizami street and caused him minor injuries. On the fact, a criminal case was filed under Article 221.2.1 (hooliganism committed by a group of persons) of the Criminal Code.
It is worthy to note that this incident coincided with the Internet governance Forum in Azerbaijan and not to make noise the three above-mentioned detainees at that time were released and aftermath D. Babayev was arrested on 17 November protest rally in capital Baku.
The incident happened as follows: Mr. Salimov introduced himself to the youths as an official of the Interior Ministry and invited them to follow him to the police station. When the youth activists demanded him to submit his business card, he ran away. The activists reported the case to the police officer nearby, but were detained themselves.
However, the young people were forced to write an explanatory note, and allowed to go.
PPFA made a statement and condemned the arrest of Babayev by the authorities and regarded the detention as a step of suppression of political activity and the youth movement.
“However, such a treatment by the authorities against political opponents cannot prevent the unfolding of consistent and principled struggle for democracy in the country. This unjust arrest will promote greater unity and determination of citizens to fight for their rights,” the statement says.
If proven guilty, Babayev will face a sentence of correctional labor up to two years or up to 5 years in prison.
Interesting facts to know:
Nobody knows how many times Mr. Dayanat Babayev has been arrested during a decade of his political activism. It is countless. But one is clear: four cases of him have been sent to European Court on Human Rights.
D. Babayev has been always arrested before or after the protest rallies and tens of times faced administrative arrests for several days.
This arrest coincides with the visit of co-rapporteur of the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Pedro Agramunt to Azerbaijan.
PFPA calls upon the international community to act and do their utmost efforts to free the innocent youth activist. PFPA also calls on those who can reach to co-rapporteur of the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Pedro Agramunt having been on visit to Azerbaijan and planning to meet Azerbaijan head of state today and ask him to raise the question of the young activist. We think, him mentioning the youth activist could save him from prison life, the court for which is scheduled today around 15.00 to 17.00. The action should have been taken before this time.
Razi Nurullayev is a deputy-chairperson for Foreign Affairs of the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan