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Azerbaijan: Protesters Gather At Iranian Embassy

Baku, 13 November 1997 (RFE/RL) -- Protestors gathered in front of the Iranian embassy in Baku yesterday to protest what they say is Iranian President Mohammad Khattami's failure to fulfill a promise to grant greater cultural autonomy to Azeris living in Iran.

Our correspondent reports that police quickly moved in to break up the rally, organized by the Turkish National Youth Movement. He said about ten of the approxiamately 50 demonstrators were arrested and later released by police. Four local journalists were also detained and later let go. Afterwards, they issued a statement calling their detention unconstitutional.

The leader of the movement, Vugar Beyturan, said the rally was called to protest Khattami's failure to abide by a campaign promise to grant greater autonomy to all Iranians, including the estimated 25 million Azeris living in Iran. Beyturan noted that some 10 million Azeris voted for Khattami earlier this year.