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Azerbaijan Rights Activist Accuses Baku Police Of Conducting 'Revenge Operation'

Azerbaijani Police Detain Baku Residents In Neighborhood Crackdown
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BAKU -- Dozens of police officers raided a Baku neighborhood on June 8 and detained several people in an early morning operation that one rights activist described as a "revenge operation."

The incident occurred in Baku's Yeni Yasamal neighborhood, where police detained 11 residents of an apartment block.

The Interior Ministry issued a statement alleging that the detainees had thrown garbage at police officers a day earlier as they were detaining another local for "violating restrictions imposed to slow down the spread of the coronavirus."

During the June 8 operation, apartment block residents shouted from their balconies, criticized the police, and recorded the proceedings, some of which appeared harsh, on their cell phones.

One of the residents told RFE/RL that police launched the special operation at around 6 a.m. local time.

Human rights activist Baxtiyar Haciyev told RFE/RL that the police raid typifies the increasing gap between law enforcement structures and ordinary citizens.

"What we saw today looked like a revenge operation, a step by police to intimidate citizens, to break them," Haciyev said. "Meanwhile, all moves by state entities must be done strictly within legal frameworks."

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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