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Bakhtiyar Hajiyev

Harvard graduate, political activist and blogger, Bakhtiyar Hajiyev, was detained by police personnel of Yasamal 27th district police station, informed Hajiyev’s close friends to Meydan TV correspondents.

He is currently being held in Yasamal 27th district police station.

“Yesterday I got into an alteractaion with traffic police and was injured; the traffic police employed physical force. Now we are going to the 27th district police station. Either these [policemen] must be punished, or I must leave the country. There is no other option.” Bakhtiyar Hajiyev wrote on his personal Facebook page.

Ehsan Zahidov, an employee of the press secretary for the Ministry of Internal Affairs, claimed to have not heard news of the incident, and said that he would look into the matter “after lunch.”

Employees of the Yasamal 27th district police station said that such a person by the name of Bakhtiyar Hajiyev had not been brought into custody.

In March of 2011, Bakhtiyar Hajiyev was detained on charges of evading military service since 2006, and was sentenced to two years in prison.

He has been named by international human rights organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Freedom House and Freedom Now as a “prisoner of conscience.”

On June 4th of 2012, he was released on probation by the order of the Supreme Court of Azerbaijan.

Hajiyev’s arrest comes on the heel of the arrest of ReAL executive secretary and co-founder, Natiq Jafarli, who has been accused of illegal enterprise and abuse of executive authority. It is speculated that this new wave of arrests is connected to the upcoming September 26th constitutional referendum, in which the country will decide whether to approve of amendments to the constitution proposed by Ilham Aliyev, which would increase the presidential term from 5 to 7 years, and lower the minimum age for a potential presidential candidate form 35 to 25.

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