Anti-referendum activists arrested in Azerbaijan
|Publisher||Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty|
|Publication Date||24 February 2009|
|Cite as||Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Anti-referendum activists arrested in Azerbaijan, 24 February 2009, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/49ae9b4123.html [accessed 19 June 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
February 24, 2009
Two activists collecting signatures in Azerbaijan to protest a planned referendum on presidential term limits whose passage would clear the path for at least one new term for President Ilham Aliyev have been arrested in Baku, according to RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service.
Movsum Asgarov and Rovshan Sadigov, of the opposition group For Karabakh and Republic, were charged after their February 23 detention with resisting arrest and drug possession.
Hasan Kerimov, the deputy chairman of the opposition coalition Popular Front Party, told RFE/RL that the charges are false and that the group will first seek justice in local courts and further at the European Court of Human Rights, if necessary.
Anar Mammadli, head of the Center for Election Monitoring and Democracy Education, told RFE/RL that there are concerns of police intimidation during the referendum campaign.
Mammadli said the interference by authorities is intended to "prevent voter participation in [referendum] debates."
Aliyev is in his second and final term under the current constitution.