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Protest in Baku against ‘Iran–Armenia military production’

Этот пост доступен на языках: Русский

Around 40 people gathered on Wednesday in front of the Iranian Embassy in Baku to protest reports of joint pro­duc­tion of military equipment by Iran and Armenia and the arrest of an Azer­bai­jani-Iranian activist. The rally was soon dispersed by the police.

The rally was organised by the youth wing of the oppo­si­tion Musavat Party. The organ­is­ers told OC Media that nine people were arrested, but that all of them were released shortly there­after.

The pro­test­ers were chanting ‘Freedom!’ moving from the Iranian Embassy in the direction of the central Icher­ishe­her metro station.

Elman Guliyev, the head of the Musavat Youth Organ­i­sa­tion, told OC Media that the protest was held in the form of an unau­tho­rised picket. According to him, the Musavat Youth Organ­i­sa­tion informed the Baku City Executive Power about the action, but on 15 July the city admin­is­tra­tion refused them per­mis­sion to hold a picket.

Footage from the protest (Radio Azadliq)

‘The Azer­bai­jani gov­ern­ment avoids express­ing its position. However, it also carries out reprisals against those who express their position. This is a situation where it is impos­si­ble to close our eyes to the joint pro­duc­tion of military equipment by Armenia and Iran. But we see that the gov­ern­ment of Azer­bai­jan does not oppose this’, said Guliyev.

Armenian-Iranian ‘military cooperation’

On 2 July, several Azer­bai­jani media outlets reported that Iran and Armenia were jointly dis­play­ing a radar system at a military exhi­bi­tion in Russia. They said that the Najim-802 radar system was displayed by the two countries at the ‘Army-2019’ Forum of military equipment on 25–30 June in the village of Kubinka on the outskirts of Moscow.

They cited Russian news agency Regnum, which reported that the Najim-802 was developed by the Yerevan Sci­en­tif­ic Research Institute of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

Mher Margosyan, the director of Yerevan Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion Research Institute, confirmed to OC Media that their Institute took part in Army 2019 forum pre­sent­ing the Najm-802. Margosyan denied that Iran took part in their pre­sen­ta­tion.

‘We presented the model of radar station from our Institute. We took part in the devel­op­ment of the radar station’, he said.

Asked whether the institute produced the radar station jointly with Iran, Margosyan said that they con­tributed ‘a per­cent­age, we had a higher per­cent­age [of devel­op­ment]’.

Tofig Yagublu, another activist from the Musavat Party, told OC Media that the joint military pro­duc­tion was ‘unac­cept­able’.

‘Armenia is an occupier country, and Iran is a […] neigh­bour­ing Muslim country, just like our country. Almost half of its pop­u­la­tion consists of Turkic people, and these Turkic people unequiv­o­cal­ly support the side of the Republic of Azer­bai­jan in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict’, Yagublu said.

‘Why should Iran give military support to an occupying country? The occupying country should be subject to sanctions and embargoes, as is the case with Russia from the side of Western countries […] In this case, Iran gives an impetus to the occupying country’, he added.

On Thursday the Iranian Embassy in Azer­bai­jan told Azerbaijan’s Trend News Agency in a statement that ‘the infor­ma­tion dis­sem­i­nat­ed recently by some news websites of Azer­bai­jan on military-technical coop­er­a­tion between Iran and Armenia is ground­less’.

‘The embassy, ​​insisting on the need to develop and maintain coop­er­a­tion with neigh­bour­ing Azer­bai­jan, stated that Iran has always been a supporter of the peaceful set­tle­ment of the Armenia–Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh problem within the ter­ri­to­r­i­al integrity of Azer­bai­jan’, the statement said.

An Azerbaijani-Iranian activist detained

Elman Guliyev from the Musavat youth organ­i­sa­tion, who was among those arrested, told OC Media that they were also protest­ing the arrest in Iran of Azer­bai­jani-Iranian activist Abbas Lisani.

According to Guliyev, police officers con­fis­cat­ed their placards protest­ing the detention of Lisani and other ethnic Azer­bai­ja­nis.

Lisani, an activist for the rights of Iran’s ethnic Azer­bai­jani pop­u­la­tion, was sentenced to 8 years in prison on 8 July by an Iranian court. Another protest in support of Lisani was held in Baku on 11 July.

Lisani was detained on 15 January in Ardabil Central Prison in Iran. According to local human rights activists, he went on hunger strike on 27 May in protest against being deprived of documents related to his pros­e­cu­tion.

Lisani has been arrested several times since 2003. In 2007, Amnesty Inter­na­tion­al recog­nised him as a prisoner of con­science.

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