Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Azerbaijan Imprisons Facebook Activists Writing About Egypt And Tunisia

Posted by Info on 08/03/2011

This is a second Facebook-related imprisonment in less than a month, a court in Ganja on March 4 sentenced youth activist Bakhtiyar Hajiyev to one month in prison. Details about the charges against Hajiyev were not immediately clear.

Twenty-nine-year-old Hajiev, a former parliamentary candidate, is one of the organizers of a youth demonstration against the government planned for March 11. Police in Ganja summoned him twice on March 4 to question him about statements he had posted on Facebook.

“We learned from the developments in the Arab world that when people demand freedom, they achieve it. We call on you to stand on the right side of history, not to resort to force against your own citizens, to build a fair, happy, and free society in Azerbaijan together with ordinary people,” reads one of those statements, directed to police.

The arrests (and Facebook list) follow Egypt and Tunisia’s popular uprisings
, which have been avidly followed by young Azerbaijanis, both on and off Facebook — an interest that has not escaped the government’s attention.

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