Police Detain Protesters in Azerbaijan’s Capital

Posted December 10th, 2012 at 4:00 pm (UTC-5)
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Azerbaijan police on Monday detained at least 30 protesters in Baku who tried to hold a rally demanding the right to freedom of assembly and the dissolution of parliament.

The unsanctioned protest in the capital of the oil-rich Caspian state was timed to coincide with International Human Rights Day.

Police officers quickly detained protesters at central Baku's Fountains Square who shouted slogans calling for free elections and the government's resignation.

Opposition to President Ilham Aliyev's government is not tolerated and public displays of dissent are firmly suppressed.

Rights groups and many Western governments have accused Mr. Aliyev of suppressing freedom of information and assembly, harassing journalists and rigging elections. Aliyev succeeded his father as Azerbaijan's president after the latter died in 2003.

Azerbaijan has been selected to host the first ever European Games in Baku in 2015.

The multi-sport event for European athletes will be regulated by the European Olympic Committees (EOC).