Anti-government protesters beaten, arrested in Baku

Anti-government protesters beaten, arrested in Baku
Sat Oct 12, 2013 21:40:39

Anti-government protesters have been beaten and detained by police in the Azerbaijani capital Baku.

Up to five thousand opposition supporters held a demonstration in Baku on Saturday demanding the resignation of President Ilham Aliyev and new presidential elections.

Although the rally had been officially approved by authorities, some participants were beaten and arrested by police.

At least one demonstrator suffered injuries and was taken to the hospital.

Opposition supporters claim October 9 presidential election was massive fraud and refuse to recognize the result.

Jamil Hasanli, the opposition candidate, said he had hopes the contested election will prompt change.

"I want to congratulate people on what happened on October 9, because it will bring changes to the country and a new Azerbaijan will emerge," Hasanli said at the rally.

The rally was held with government permission in a stadium on the outskirts of Baku, with a heavy police presence. Each person entering the stadium was searched by policemen.

Official results of the election - which caused international amusement when they seemed to have been accidentally released ahead of the vote via a smartphone app - showed incumbent Aliyev winning nearly 85 per cent of the vote and Hasanli with just 6 per cent.

Monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe called the vote flawed, noting the limitations on the freedoms of expression and assembly, ballot box stuffing and poor vote counting practices.


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