Today, the Public Chamber of the Azerbaijani opposition held a protest rally in front of the Mayoral Administration of Baku. Protesters demanded that the Azerbaijani government respected the right of the Azerbaijani citizens to freedom of assembly and released the opposition activists jailed for their participation in opposition rallies. The Azerbaijani government maintains that it has the right to restrict the freedom of assembly for political reason and that every opposition rally has to be allowed (“sanctioned”) by the executive authorities before the opposition takes its supporters to the streets. This rally of the opposition was “unsanctioned” and the police attacked the protesters. ۱۸ protesters were detained and later released by the police. This time police used extra force in beating and detaining the opposition activists which can be explained by the Azerbaijani government’s desire to quell the protests before the kickstart of the Eurovision Song Contest in Baku in late May.