02 Apr '11, 1pm

Azerbaijani police break up pro-democracy rally

Azerbaijani police break up pro-democracy rally

BAKU: Riot police staged a show of force in the capital of ex-Soviet Azerbaijan on Saturday to stop an unauthorised pro-democracy rally and seize protesters who defied the ban. Police armed with batons and rubber bullets shut down a central square in the capital of the energy-rich, mainly Muslim state, preventing activists from holding the planned rally, an AFP correspondent reported. But more than 300 protesters managed to gather near Fountains Square and march through the city centre, chanting for the authorities to resign, as police in full body armour and helmets seized demonstrators from the noisy crowd. "We think that the action was successful," said Fuad Gahramanli, the deputy leader of the Azerbaijani Popular Front opposition party said, but was immediately arrested after giving this statement. Several protesters including a man holding a placard reading "We Want F...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world/view/112...

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