Azerbaijan: testing the boundaries of the political space.

Five young activists were jailed on 26 January for protesting peacefully in the centre of Baku.

Five young activists were jailed on 26 January for protesting peacefully in the centre of Baku.

Azerbaijan imprisoned five young activists over the weekend and heavily fined several dozen others, after they participated in an unsanctioned public protest in the centre of Baku on Saturday, (26 January 2013).

Those arrested included the well-known blogger and dissident Emin Milli who a few years ago was imprisoned for seventeen months on trumped up charges of hooliganism, who was sentenced for fifteen days. Abdulfaz Gurbanli, Rufat Abdullaev, Turkal Azerturk and Tuncal Guliyev were sentenced for thirteen days each. Several other protestors were given heavy fines. They were part of a crowd of several hundred that converged on Baku’s Fountain Square in solidarity with protests that had been held in previous days in the town of Ismaili, 150 kilometers northwest of Baku. More…

Debate within the Azerbaijani Opposition.

Isa Gambar, Leader of Musavat Party in Azerbaijan. Some say he won the election in 2003.

With Azerbaijan’s 2013 Presidential elections around the corner, political activists in the country are beginning to question the tactics and plans not of the government but of the opposition. For many political activists, the government’s plan is well known, and given its track record a transparent and fair transfer of power seems highly unlikely. Karina Gould follows the debate and reports for CEW. More…