EURASIA LIFT

Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Azerbaijan Cracks Down Hard On Protests Including Children

Posted by Info on 28/04/2011

In oil-rich Azerbaijan, opposition supporters inspired by revolutions in the Arab world are taking to the streets and calling for a change of government. President Aliyev’s family has ruled with an iron grip since 1993.

The Azeri government understands that we have the same system here as they had in Tunisia or Egypt… in fact it is a totally corrupt government” said Political analyst Arastun Orujlu.

It is a peaceful Sunday afternoon in Baku’s immaculately restored city centre. In a central square next to the ruling party’s headquarters, hundreds of people stroll around the 19th Century fountain or chat with friends. In total 65 people were detained. Even some 5 years old girl shouts out “freedom” and punches her tiny fist into the air. She is grabbed by police, starts to cry, and is pushed into a police car.
All were arrested either on their way to the protest, or as soon as they shouted out anything criticising the government.

“For the past five years the situation was very bad when it comes to guaranteeing human rights and freedoms. People just waited and waited and waited. But because of events in the Arab world, people here now understand that they should go and ask the government to meet their demands. Now people realise they have a real chance of changing something.”

The media is tightly controlled by the state and almost 80% of the population either never use the internet or do not know what it is.

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