February 18, graphic designer Rasul Hasan, taken for questioning over a Facebook post. Hasan’s Facebook post that resulted in his detention was a GIF image of riot police performing traditional Yalli dance outside the Central Election Commission building. During his questioning, Hasan was forced to remove the GIF.
Speaking to local media, Hasan’s father, explained, his son, was apprehended in broad daylight, on his way to work. Police approached Hasan, as he got out of the taxi, and demanded that he follows them to the police station.
“At the police, he was questioned about his opposition views and was asked about the family members. They forced him to remove the video. In addition, Rasul was threatened that if his detention was made public, then “more stringent measures” would be taken against him. This is a kidnapping and violation of all human rights,” said, Hasan’s father Elshan Hasanov in an interview with Turan News Agency.
AIW spoke to Rasul Hasan following his release. He confirmed the reason for questioning but said, he was doing fine.
On February 9, Azerbaijan held a snap parliament election. The results were contested by opposition groups and other independent parliament candidates, who claimed based on the documented evidence the vote was rigged. Over the following days, defeated parliament candidates, political activists, and other civic activists gathered outside the Central Election Commission, demanding election to be canceled based on the collected evidence of voter fraud.
It was during one of these protest actions, that riot police were sent to cordon off the building. Forming a line, police stood holding hands. This is how the GIF was created.
#Azerbaijan the genius behind this meme (riot police holding hands in front of the Central Election Commission “protecting” it from parliamentary candidates whose votes were stolen) Rasul Hasan is reportedly kidnapped by the police and this video has been removed from his account https://t.co/a4ktcZVsDO
— Arzu Geybulla (@arzugeybulla) February 18, 2020