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Ukrainian Monitors Say Azerbaijan Turned Them Back


http://gdb.rferl.org/86D1E3E2-5E29-40E7-8B04-484FCBCFD3AA_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/86D1E3E2-5E29-40E7-8B04-484FCBCFD3AA_mw800_mh600.jpg (AFP) 6 November 2005 -- A group of Ukrainians who traveled to Azerbaijan to help monitor today's parliamentary vote say they were barred from the country and forced to return home.

Serhiy Taran of the Kyiv-based Institute of Mass Information said the 16 would-be observers arrived today at the Baku airport, but were told they were not wanted.

Taran said Azerbaijani authorities are wary of Ukrainian citizens because of their possible ties to last year's Orange Revolution, which saw the ruling elite removed from office after what was seen as a widely fraudulent vote.

One of the Ukrainians turned back today was a leader of the Pora youth movement , which was one of the main forces behind the Orange Revolution.

Azerbaijan's political opposition alleges there have been numerous instances of voter fraud in today's vote.

(AP)
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