Protest in front of Azerbaijani Embassy
17 November marks a national holiday in Azerbaijan – the National Revival Day. On that day in 1988 hundreds of people gathered at the Azadliq (Freedom) Square in Baku. It was the first mass Azerbaijani protest against the central USSR government’s policy towards the then Soviet Republic. The demonstrations lasted for three weeks until the protesters were pacified by security forces. The events of that day are considered to have given birth to the Azerbaijani national movement which ultimately led to the declaration of the country’s independence in 1991.
On Monday 17 November, at 6 pm, the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights organises a demonstration in front of the Embassy of Azerbaijan (ul. Zwycięzców 12). The purpose of the gathering is to publicise the stiffening repression against the country’s civil society.
“We want to show our solidarity with those who fight for democracy and human rights in Azerbaijan”, says Dr Adam Bodnar, HFHR’s Deputy President. “On that day, we will stand united with Leyla and Arif Yunus, Rasul Yafarov and Intigam Aliyev. All of them are outstanding human right advocates who have been detained by Azerbaijani authorities because of their political involvement”, Dr Bodnar adds.
During the demonstration participants will be given placards that display appeals for the activists’ release. The protesters will also be given a chance to take part in a happening which aims to raise the public awareness of the difficult situation of the proponents of the Azerbaijani civil society.