A member of a political movement D18 was detained by the police on November 11. Speaking to the local media the head of the movement Ahmad Mammadli said the activist, Orkhan Zeynalli was taken by the police over his Facebook posts that were critical of the police.
According to Mammadli, the problem started a month ago when Zeynalli went to the police to file a complaint over a stolen bike [Zeynalli worked as a courier delivering food]. The police offered a different kind of assistance – a fee in an exchange for them to help him find his stolen bike. Zeynalli wrote about this exchange on his Facebook after which police called him in asking to remove the post. They were unaware of his political activism prior to seeing his post on Facebook.
Assured, Zeynalli hid the post, but a month later, after receiving no news, Zeynalli shared another ironic post about the police force, explained Ahamd Mammadli in an interview with Meydan TV.
Zeynalli was asked to visit the police station yet again, this time, Zeynalli refused, given there was no official letter from the police.
That day, Zeynalli went out of his home to fix the electricity outage which according to Mammadli, was caused by the police. “Plain-clothed police officers detained Zeynalli on the spot. Zeynalli’s wife watched all of this happen,” noted Mammadli. Zeynalli was sentenced to 30 days in administrative detention on November 12, according to reporting by Turan News Agency. D18 had another member sentenced to 30 days in administrative detention on November 12 as well – Afiaddin Mamedov – but on what grounds remains unclear.
This is not the first time, political and civil activists are detained by the police over their social media posts. Most recently police detained another political activist, a member of the opposition Popular Front party over social media posts. According to reporting by Meydan TV, Emin Akhundov was briefly detained by the police on October 31 over a post in which he criticized disproportionate police violence against political activists. Akhundov was released the following day.