The Musavat opposition party is calling on supporters to rally in Baku on Saturday, January 12, in support of jailed video blogger Mehman Huseynov. As of Tuesday, January 8, the location of the demonstration has not been confirmed but the event is expected to start at 15:00 (local time). While the rally is expected to remain peaceful, heightened security measures and localized traffic disruptions are possible.
Associated rallies were held in Baku on January 3 and January 6, resulting in the arrest of 15 people, with three receiving three-week jail sentences. Huseynov was arrested in March 2017 on defamation charges and sentenced to two years in prison. He was originally scheduled to be released in March 2019 but a new criminal case was brought against him on December 26, 2018, for allegedly beating a prison official. Huseynov denied the charge and launched a hunger strike. Journalists and political activists claim that the accusations are false and an attempt by the government to silence Huseynov, who exposed alleged high-level corruption and highlighted social concerns in his online videos.
ndividuals in Baku are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all protests as a precaution, and avoid discussing sensitive political topics in public or on social media platforms.
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