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N!DA activist imprisoned ‘for post targeting Aliyev’

25 February 2021
Elmir Abbasov. Photo via Facebook.

The N!DA youth movement has stated that one of their activists, Elmir Abbasov, was arrested and tortured at the Sumgayit City Police Department over a Facebook post criticising the president.

Abbasov was detained by police in the city of Sumgayit on 19 February. He was reportedly beaten several times by police during his arrest.

N!DA stated that police demanded he delete a post on Facebook criticising President Ilham Aliyev, threatening to rape him on a beach if he did not. According to N!DA, this was done under the supervision of Deputy Police Chief Rauf Babashov.

Abbasov’s lawyer, Zibeyda Sadigova, told Turan that he was found guilty of using illegal drugs. According to N!DA he was sentenced to 30 days of administrative detention.

The post was written on 16 February criticising the president of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and calling for the population to resist the mass corruption in the government. 

‘Azerbaijani people know the truth but do not tell it. People know that Ilham Aliyev is the real cause of billions of corruption cases in the country. Ministers and officials are just small stakeholders.’ 

‘Is it possible for billions to be removed from the state budget and the person in charge of the state not know about it? Of course he knows, and he has his own gain from this. Well, people know that, why not?’

‘Because people are afraid of Ilham Aliyev. To be more precise, if they oppose Ilham Aliyev, they are afraid of what they could lose. They are afraid of losing their jobs, their surroundings, their freedom, their life. The worst thing is that those who call themselves politicians are like that.’ 

‘A cowardly politician/citizen promotes cowardice to the people as a result, people become afraid of politics. To believe that something will change in Azerbaijani politics by criticising the pedestrians of the system, not the main figure is naivety coming from cowardice.’

‘Dear citizens, by resisting this fear, we may lose some things, but we will gain courage. Of course, change requires courage as well as intelligence. Each of us has enough intelligence to see the truth. We just don't have the courage to say it. Let's be brave!’

Sumgayit City Police Department was unreachable for comment.

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