Azerbaijani opposition and its supporters have staged an anti-government rally in
The protesters also demanded the release of a dozen political activists detained during antigovernment protests last year. Asbarez.com informs about this.
The demonstration on April 8 was the first that have been sanctioned by Azerbaijani authorities after similar protests last year ended in a violent government crackdown.
Organizers of the rally claimed that more than 10,000 people took part in the demonstration.
A statement by
Ali Kerimli, the leader of the APFP made a speech at the rally calling for greater freedoms in the country.
“The Azerbaijani government led by Ilham Aliyev is carrying out a policy that has been destroying the Azerbaijani opposition, and stifling independent voices – by banning demonstrations – over the past seven years,” he said.
Isa Gambar, the leader of the Musavat opposition party, likened the situation in
“We have always been sure the wave of the changes, democracy and freedom in the world will come to
A member of the APFP told RFE/RL’s Azerbaijani Service that he and 10 other activists were beaten by police on their way to the rally.
The organizers of the demonstration said authorities had disrupted transport links to restrict the number of protestors heading to the protests.
Locals say hundreds of police have set up security booths around the city.
Pro-democracy opposition activists in the oil-rich Caspian nation had staged rallies in
At least, 16 opposition activists were arrested during the protests. Some of them have been released, but no fewer than 12 remain in custody.
Azerbaijani opposition is very pressed and is in really hard condition. It hardly manages to organize some actions against teh authorities.