Society 18:44 20/11/2014

Radio Liberty: Lovers arrested in Nakhichevan by police for walking together

Peoples’ freedom in Autonomous Republic of Nakhichevan is more restricted now. Apart from the political sphere, the restrictions visibly penetrate into the everyday life and experiences of the people too. It is reported that the loving couples and even those engaged are banned to have public walks together, a group of students studying in Nakhichevan told Azerbaijani Service of Radio "Liberty" about this.

According to the students, not only those couples who walk hand in hand, but even those that simply walk together are under the police surveillance. According to the young people, the couples that are caught in such situation are abused directly in the street, and then are taken to the police station. "Here, they need proof that they are married, engaged or in a relationship. And what kind of document is needed for the engagement or relationship? The complainants informed that if the requested document - a marriage certificate for example – is not available, the couple will face either a large scale fine, or a few days arrest," reads the article.

According to them, the young people prefer to borrow the necessary sum of money, but not to be dishonored in front of their friends and relatives. "The police dart around the city. Seeing a girl and a guy walking together, regardless of who they are to each other - friends, lovers, or they learn in a group – they simply attack them and take to the police station," reported one of the students.

According to him, in Nakhichevan the students do not have a student life. As noted in the article, one of the residents of Nakhichevan, who requested anonymity, told the Radio "Liberty" that his close relative had cut his veins as a protest when he was detained togather with his fiancée and taken to the police station.

International human rights activists call Nakhichevan a "black island of Azerbaijan." The local human rights activists say that autonomy has become the laboratory of the Azerbaijani authorities for human rights violations. Thus, the methods of repression, torture, and the pressure on the opposition and civil society activists are tested in Nakhichevan, then applied to the whole country.



Source Panorama.am
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