The OSCE Office in Baku condemned today the recent violent attacks against members of the Popular Front Party and its offices in Baku and Nakhchivan following the detention of opposition politician Ruslan Bashirli.
On 5 August, people threw rocks and other hard objects at the party's offices in Nakhchivan and beat up party members. They also sprayed insulting messages all over the walls of the premises. Such attacks were repeated on 6 and 8 August in Baku.
"We strongly condemn these acts of violence. It is unacceptable that groups of private citizens decided to take justice into their own hands," said Ambassador Maurizio Pavesi, Head of the OSCE Office in Baku.
Mr. Bashirli, whose Yeni Fikir movement is considered to be affiliated with the Popular Front Party, was arrested on 3 August", according to Article 278 of the country's Criminal Code, on charges of having attempted the "forcible seizure of power and overthrowing of the constitutional structure".
After the arrest, the Prosecutor General's Office said that Mr. Bashirli had received money illegally from abroad to organize a revolution in Azerbaijan. Such charges carry imprisonment for 10 up to 15 years or even imprisonment for life.
"This case is under investigation and nobody has been sentenced yet," Ambassador Pavesi said. "I hope the government will take all necessary measures to prevent damages to private properties, and violent and unauthorized public meetings, which would result in an unjustifiable deterioration of the electoral campaign."
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