On December 15, international human rights advocacy organization Amnesty International published a statement on its website, reacting to the detention of opposition politician Tofig Yagublu and overall government crackdown on opposition.
The statement mentions that on the same day Yagublu was detained, among other protesters, at a protest rally in Baku calling for freedom for Saleh Rustamli, a fellow oppositionist in prison. It also recalls the previous detention and beating of Yagublu on December 15, but fails to mention he was detained at a rally too with the same demand.
The statement also failed to touch upon struggle of Saleh Rustamli, who has been on hunger strike for 41 days since early November. Rustamli is mentioned only as the cause of the rally in which people were detained.
The statement argues that the Azerbaijani government takes advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic in its crackdown against political opposition in the country. Natalia Nozadze, Amnesty’s South Caucasus researcher, is cited:
The authorities are using the Covid-19 pandemic as a pretext to trample on the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. They must only introduce restrictions that are necessary, proportionate and that do not arbitrarily restrict the rights of Azerbaijani people.Natalia Nozadze
“The authorities must immediately end their crackdown on opposition politicians and uphold the rights of all people in Azerbaijan,” Amnesty International calls on Azerbaijani government.