On May 17, 2013, Azerbaijani youth activist Ilkin Rustemzade was arrested on charges of hooliganism for his alleged involvement in at Harlem Shake video  filmed in the country’s capital city, Baku. The video, which was uploaded to YouTube more than two months before his arrest, is completely apolitical, and Rustemzade does not even appear on-screen. The government claims that he helped film it, though his lawyer denies he was involved at all.

Others who have made Harlem Shake videos in Baku—including members of a pro-government youth movement—have not been punished. The real reason Rustemzade has been targeted is because of his online activism and his criticism of the government as part of the Free Youth Organization. Rustemzade has already been sentenced to two months of pre-trial detention, and he faces up to five years in jail if convicted of the hooliganism charges.

Just two days before his arrest in connection with the video, Rustemzade was released after serving 15 days of administrative detention. He had been arrested forgathering peacefully to commemorate victims on the anniversary of the 2009 shooting at the Azerbaijan State Oil Academy. Rustemzade also served six days of administrative detention in March for organizing a protest calling attention to the deaths of soldiers in non-combat situations.

ON TWITTER

MeydanTV
MeydanTV "Nə vitse-prezidenti, nə prezidenti bu yerlərdə gördüm" youtu.be/saTsbBxWrX8?a
04:35PM Feb 23
Giorgi_Gogia
Giorgi_Gogia Instead of going after those who assaulted the woman city councillor, the mayor's office banned journalists from the Council meetings! Turns out, the problem is that it was televised, not that she was assaulted. Not good, #Armenia twitter.com/Giorgi_Gogia/status/963653488898125824
01:15PM Feb 23
arzugeybulla
arzugeybulla Open Technology Fund Summit 2017: Community Snapshot www.opentech.fund/article/open-technology-fund-summit-2017-community-snapshot @OpenTechFund
11:27AM Feb 23
rebecca_vincent
rebecca_vincent Again, why stop at 'concern', @foreignoffice ? Why not call for his immediate and unconditional release? twitter.com/foreignoffice/status/966377105427755008 #FreeNabeel #Bahrain
10:17AM Feb 22
nhc_no
nhc_no NHC supports the International solidarity letter signed by +250 organisations & platforms around the world calling on the #Hungarian Parliament to reject the proposed laws and let the NGOs and defenders continue their work! #LexNGO2018 www.fidh.org/en/issues/human-rights-defenders/in-solidarity-with-civil-society-in-hungary-22814
01:14PM Feb 19