ACTION: Police Beat Up Peaceful Protesters (UA 79/12)
Youth activists, including recently released Jabbar Savalan, were beaten by police while staging a peaceful demonstration in Azerbaijan's capital Baku. Call on the authorities to order an immediate investigation into the violence - TAKE ACTION on our website or write an Urgent Action appeal letter.
Jabbar Savalan (m), Dayanat Babayev (m), Majid Marjanli (m), Abulfaz Gurbanly (m) and Beyin Hasanli (f), Babek Hasanov (m) and Mahammad Majidli (m)
Police beat five youth activists during and after a peaceful protest in Azerbaijan's capital, Baku, on 6 March. The protest had been sparked by reports that two prisoners of conscience had been beaten while being moved between prisons, and police dispersed them violently.
Jabbar Savalan and Dayanat Babayev were beaten as they were arrested along with 14 other protesters and a journalist when police violently dispersed a demonstration in central Baku. The activists were taken to the 28th Yasamal District police station where another activist, Majid Marjanli, was beaten by officers interrogating him.
According to eyewitnesses, police used an electro-shock weapon on Abulfaz Gurbanly, 29, the chairman of an opposition youth group, then kicked and punched him while he was in a holding cell with other prisoners. He later said that police then moved him to another cell where they again gave him electric shocks, and continued beating him. He had tried to argue with a police officer who punched a female protestor, Beyin Hasanli, in the head.
The protest was organized in response to news reports in the evening of 5 March that two detainees, Babek Hasanov and Mahammad Majidli, recognized by Amnesty International as prisoners of conscience, had been beaten up by prison guards while they were being moved from Prison No. 16 to Prison No. 14. The two men had been arrested and sentenced to 18 months and two and a half years in prison respectively for their involvement in a peaceful protest on 2 April 2011.
All of those detained during the protest were released after four hours, with fines and warnings.
Please write immediately in English, Russian, Azeri, Turkish or your own language:
* Calling on the authorities to order an immediate investigation into the beating of peaceful protesters Jabbar Savalan, Dayanat Babayev, Majid Marjanli, Abulfaz Gurbanly and Beyin Hasanli on 6 March 2012;
* Calling on them to order an immediate investigation into reports that prisoners of conscience Babek Hasanov and Mahammad Majidli were beaten while in prison;
* Urging them to allow peaceful protest;
* Calling for the immediate and unconditional release of all prisoners of conscience in Azerbaijan.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 19 APRIL 2012 TO: (Time difference = GMT + 5 hrs / BST + 4 hrs)
Yasamal District Prosecutor
47 Tbilisi Prospect
Baku AZ 1065, AZERBAIJAN
Fax: 00994 12 430 57 00
Salutation: Dear Prosecutor
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