opposition leader’s mobile and internet cut off ahead of live interview (updated)

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[UPDATE] May 13, marks one month since the leader of Popular Front, Ali Karimli, reported internet outage at his apartment in Baku. Since the incident was first reported, Karimli had access to the mobile internet only a handful of times. His network signal is only available until 8pm daily.  In a Facebook post, Karimli wrote on May 3 he explained that the modem he was using at home (Sazz), was taken for inspection by the company on April 17. However, since then, he has not heard back from the company even though he was told, it would take up to three business days to inspect the device. Karimli also said in the post, that all of his communication/messenger applications have been either hacked or being used by third party.

April 20, Ali Karimli continues to report disruptions, in the mobile and internet connections at his home in Baku. Meanwhile, the spokesperson for the Ministry of the Interior Ehsan Zahidov told Turan news agency that Karimli should request his mobile, and landline operators and Internet Service Provider to respond to the technical glitches. In an attempt to reach out and have an explanation, neither of the sides, have acknowledged their client having any issues. Having no mobile signal or landline, also means that Karimli cannot leave the house for either himself nor his family can request permission to leave via SMS – a new permission-based system introduced in early April to combat the COVID19 pandemic.

On April 13, Ali Karimli, leader of an opposition party Popular Front, was cut off the internet several minutes before a live interview with US-based journalist Sevinc Osmangizi. Despite several attempts to re-connect, Osmangizi was unable to re-establish the connection.

Opposition leader reported both his home internet and mobile network were down. Similarly, his family members were too cut off the internet and lost mobile connections.

At the start of her show that aired on April 13, journalist Osmangizi told her viewers that clearly, the disruption was intentional. Because she had no issues speaking with Karimli an hour ahead of the interview.

The Ministry of Transportation, Communication and High Technologies is yet to issue a statement or provide an explanation.

Although the network and connection were reportedly back on April 14, it was cut off again a few hours later – once again, ahead of the opposition head attempt to join Osmangizi on her show.

As of April 15, the disruptions continue.

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