Starting August 10, major shopping centers in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, are being raided by officers in civilian clothes who seize merchandise of orange color. Where retailers object their visitors threaten with police summons.
Retailers say they were warned in advance against selling goods of orange color and ordered to withdraw such items from their shops. Now, those who ignored the warning are watching despondently their orange merchandise destroyed in bonfires.
Baku’s largest shopping malls — Sadarak and Bina — have already been fully purged of orange-colored items including children’s clothes and expensive leatherwear. Textile retailers are suffering the heaviest losses as orange-colored fabrics have been especially popular latterly prompting retailers to import large quantities.
The government has repeatedly urged retailers to give up orange colored goods voluntarily. Those, who fail to comply, would face high fines, officials say. Local entrepreneurs have voiced concern over the arbitrary measures.
Based in London, we are an informal group dedicated to supporting democracy and human rights throughout
the former Soviet Union. Our aims are:
Informing the public about issues in this area that receive little coverage in the Western media.
Staging peaceful demonstrations and letter-writing campaigns in support of specific causes.
Supporting and publicising nonviolent pro-democracy groups throughout the region.
Encouraging European and American involvement.
Support the Belarusian cartoonists
Third Way, the Belarusian organisation whose members are being prosecuted for producing satirical cartoons about Lukashenka,
have set up a web page where you can make a donation via PayPal. The group urgently
need money for their legal defence and operating expenses. Please give what you can today! Read more
We are continuing to focus our efforts on the Belarusian prisoner of conscience Mikhail Marinich.
We are campaigning for him to receive proper medical treatment, to be permitted to see his family,
and ultimately to be released from prison pending a review of his case. You can help by distributing
our factsheets and letters.
Members of these groups have joined our blog to share their views and experiences.