Azerbaijani human rights advocate Leyla Yunus has declared about a police attack on her office in Baku June 13, 2011. “The police attacked the office of the Institute for Peace and Democracy (IPD) at Shamsi Badalbelli Street,” Leyla Yunus told Radio Liberty. “I had instructed my employees to write on the wall of my house that the building was my property. I had declared that its destruction contradicts the Azerbaijani Constitution and the European Convention, that it was a violation of human rights. The police tried to exert pressure on us in order not to allow to write that on the wall,” the human rights advocate said.

IPD has been located at this address for many years, but there has not been any plate with signs on the building. This building was privatized long ago by its owner, and is used by the above mentioned NGOs. However, the police could not explain why it is not permitted to write on the wall what institutions are located in it. Moreover, they attempted to take Leyla Yunus to police.  The police demanded that Leyla Yunus immediately painted over the inscriptions in front of her office.

Leyla Yunus refused to obey those orders. Journalists and foreign diplomats visited the scene.  The police stepped back after the arrival of foreign diplomats but continued watching the scene from the police car.

It is arbitrariness and pressure on us, but we will not surrender, ” said Leyla Yunus.

The pressure of police coincided with the demands of the executive power to vacate the houses, and move to new premises. But most of people refuse to leave their flats in the city center for the houses in the outskirts of Baku. According to the residents of the houses in Badalbeyli Street, the representatives of the government have not paid yet the compensation 1500 manat per square meter, which was the established compensation for the houses taken by the government from the residents of the Shamsi Badalbayli street.

According to the plans of the authorities, one-story houses in the Badalbeyli and Mirzaga Aliyev streets have to be demolished. The authorities are going to build a Winter Boulevard in that place.

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