When protesters tried to stop the demolition of a Baku mosque in April, Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev stepped in and decided to appoint a special commission to look into the issue.
“Taking into account the reaction of believers, the head of state gave directions to halt demolition of the mosque, comprehensively investigate the situation, evaluate the technical conditions of the building and submit relevant proposals,” senior Aliyev adviser Ali Hasanov said at the time. Aliyev even fired the local district administrator for his "unauthorized" decision to tear down the mosque, Haji Javad, built in 1912.
On July 1, Hasanov said that the commission had reached its conclusions: "President Aliyev, taking into account the opinion of the local community, took the decision to build a new mosque and only afterwards revisit the question of the demolition of Haji Javad."
But that same evening, under cover of night, the mosque was torn down.
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