On March 18, civic activist, Elvin Mustafayev (known online as Atilla Khan) was sentenced to 25 days in administrative detention on charges of petty hooliganism and disobeying police in Saatli province of Azerbaijan. According to Mustafayev’s friends, the activist was reprimanded for his critical-of-the-authorities comments and posts on Facebook. Since mid-March, residents of Saatli have been protesting water shortage.
Mustafayev lives in Saatli himself and he wrote about the protest and police violence he witnessed. Shortly after he was called in for questioning and arrested on the spot on bogus allegations. According to reports, riot police used rubber bullets and tear gas against local residents who took the streets to voice their grievances.
Local opposition parties recognized Mustafayev’s detention as politically motivated.