Azeri Police Detain 50 as Protest in Baku Is Shut Down

Police in Azerbaijan’s capital Baku arrested nearly 50 people as they stopped a rally in support of anti-government protests and riots that hit the northwestern Ismayilli District this week.

The protesters chanted “Get your guns off us” and “Baku supports Ismayilli” before being detained by riot police and plainclothes security officers and driven away in buses.

Almost 5,000 people had signed up on Facebook Inc. (FB) to join the rally in central Fountains Square. Police sealed off the area hours before the protest started, forcing demonstrators to gather in neighboring streets.

Residents in Ismayilli, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) northwest of Baku, burned the local governor’s house and a hotel in two days of rioting earlier this week. Police used tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons to disperse the demonstrations and dozens of people were arrested.

To contact the reporter on this story: Zulfugar Agayev in Baku at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Hellmuth Tromm at

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