Azerbaijani activist arrested after post criticising president

7 June 2023
Amrah Tahmazov carrying a poster against election fraud in 2020. Photo: Amrah Tahmazov/Facebook

Azerbaijani activist Amrah Tahmazov has been sentenced to 30 days of administrative detention on charges of hooliganism and disobeying police orders. However, other activists claim that his arrest is related to a social media post that personally addressed Azerbaijan’s president.

Tahmazov was arrested on 27 May however his arrest only became publicly known on 6 June. 

According to social media posts by other activists, Tahmazov’s arrest was related to a Facebook post he made on 16 May, which called on President Ilham Aliyev to release Alizamin Salayev. Salayev, a member of the opposition Popular Front Party, was detained on 7 February and sentenced to four years in prison on 22 May. 

‘Damn you, Ilham Aliyev! Free the prisoner. You have exhausted people, you have exhausted everyone. Free Alizamin Salayev. Let us live’, wrote  Tahmazov.

The post, which was seen by OC Media, has since been taken down. 

Information about Tahmazov’s arrest was first made public by Azerbaijani activists, including Giyas Ibrahim who wrote that he had not heard from him since 27 May. 

‘The last time he met me was on that day. There were no calls or messages for several days. Today I heard that 10 days ago, Amrah was sentenced to 30 days of administrative imprisonment’, wrote Ibrahim. 


Tahmazov’s lawyer, Zibeyda Sadigova confirmed to OC Media that Tahmazov was taken to a police station in Sabail District on 27 May and detained there for two days.

She added that he had been charged with petty hooliganism and disobeying a police officer’s orders, and his phone had been confiscated by a police officer. 

On 19 May, Tahmazov wrote on Facebook that police had come to his home when he was away, and asked if he was in the premises, leaving after being told that he was elsewhere. 

‘It is probably because of the status I wrote for Zamin Salayev with an emphasis on Ilham Aliyev that day. I don’t like to exaggerate, but if they arrest me, it is most likely because of my Facebook status’, wrote Tahmazov. 

An Interior Ministry spokesperson told independent Azerbaijani news agency Turan that Tahmazov’s detention was not related to his social media posts, and that he had been detained for hooliganism.

Read in Armenian on CivilNet.