Azerbaijani Protestors Demand Release of Hunger-Striking Politician

Azerbaijani police detained 20 protesters in Baku during a demonstration calling for the release of opposition leader Saleh Rustamli, who has been on hunger strike for 39 days.

Rustamli, who is a member of the opposition Popular Front of Azerbaijan Party (AXCP), has gone on hunger strike in order to get released. 

Government forces have detained 20 protesters after violently dispersing them.

RFE/RL reported that Tofiq Yaqublu, a leading member of the opposition Musavat party is also among the detained protesters,

Another five detained protesters were sentenced to up to 30 days in jail on charges of violating pandemic regulations.

Rustamli, who has lived in Russia since 1998, was arrested in 2018 when he visited Azerbaijan.

Rustamli was subsequently sentenced to more than seven years in prison after a court found him guilty of money laundering for the alleged transfer of $420,000 to a bank account connected to the AXCP. Rustamli said that the allegation against him was baseless.

Another member of the AXCP, Mammad Ibrahim, on Tuesday said that seven opposition activists also joined Rustamli’s hunger strike.

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