An opposition activist has been arrested in Baku.
On 7 May, Orkhan Bakhishli was detained by people in civilian clothes in the center of Azerbaijan’s capital, according to relatives. Bakhishli is currently being held at the Yasamal District police station, accused of dealing drugs.
Bakhishli is a member of the supreme council of the youth committee of the opposition Popular Front of Azerbaijan Party (PFAP).
This is not the first time Bakhishli has been arrested. On the eve of an opposition rally on 31 March, he was detained and sentenced to 30 days administrative detention.
Detentions of PFAP activists have been on the rise in recent months.
On 30 April 2018, Samir Hasanov, the chairman of the youth committee of PFAP’s chapter in Shaki, was detained, possibly because of a Facebook post. He was released on 2 May.
On 31 March, 17-year-old activist Fatima Movlamli disappeared after an opposition rally. Movlamli turned up five days later. She had been held at the Main Department for Combating Organized Crime, which her relatives had been unable to ascertain despite requesting information from the Interior Ministry.
On 30 November 2017, PFAP activist and video blogger, Namig Sadigli, was taken from his home by people in civilian clothes and brought to a police station. Accused of refusing to obey the police, he was sentenced to 30 days detention.
On 10 November, PFAP activist Ahsan Abdullayev was kidnapped in Baku by people in civilian clothes only to turn up three days later in a pre-trial detention facility. He was held for 15 days, although police refused to say which court had ordered his detention. They intimated that Abdullayev had been arrested for “offensive” Facebook statuses.