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 police said in a statement that 65 people were detained and 25 were later released.
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.