There are wounded and detainees
On March 13, residents of the villages of Nabatkend and Orta Mugan in the Saatli region held a protest action due to frequent and prolonged water cuts. They tried to block the highway.
According to the residents, who stated that they had problems with drinking and irrigation water, they repeatedly complained to the relevant state institutions. However, their complaints were ignored.
“We knocked on every door. Someone to take action. And what should we do? We buy water from water carriers. Do you know what that means when unemployment is rampant and livelihoods are hard to come by? The purchased water is enough for ten days, and then, if you save. This is 20 AZN. We pay at least 60 AZN per month for drinking water…” Rashad Guliyev, a resident of the village, told Meydan TV.
The police dispersed the protest. There are reports of casualties among the protesters. According to residents, the police used rubber bullets. As a result, several villagers were seriously injured. Hospitalizations were reported. Shots can also be heard in videos circulating on social media.
“About 200 people came out to protest. The police used tear gas and rubber bullets. Two people, including a 15-year-old boy, were seriously injured. They fired four rubber bullets into the child’s chest,” one of the villagers told AbzasMedia.
The press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs says that on March 13, at about 2 pm, a group of residents of the villages of Orta Mugan and Nabatkend of the Saatly region tried to block the highway in protest against the lack of drinking water:
“They had explanatory conversations with employees of the district police department, representatives of the district executive power, and the Open Joint-Stock Company for Land Reclamation and Water Management. After that, although most of the residents returned, a group did not comply with the lawful demand of the police and continued illegal actions aimed at disturbing public order. They were arrested and taken to the police station. Investigations are currently underway.”
The chief inspector of the regional group of the press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, police captain Nizam Hamidov denied what was said about the use of firearms by the police. He said that, in accordance with the law, only special measures are applied to those who do not comply with the requirements of the police: “I emphasize once again that the police did not use firearms.”