Riot police and plain-clothes security officers prevented Azerbaijan’s opposition from rallying in the capital and detained demonstrators.
The main opposition parties Musavat, People’s Front, National Independence and several other groups had called for a rally in Baku to demand political and economic reform. The Public Chamber, an umbrella organization for opposition groups, said nearly 60 people were detained. Three foreign journalists were said to be among those held.
Police cordoned off one of Baku’s main parks to prevent demonstrators coming together and there was a greater-than-usual security present throughout the center of the city.
Opponents of President Ilham Aliyev’s regime are campaigning for greater democratic freedoms in the oil-rich former Soviet republic. Protesters won’t be able to replicate uprisings in the Middle East that toppled regimes in Egypt and Tunisia, Aliyev said yesterday in state-run newspapers.
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