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Azerbaijani Police Arrest Protester…For Supporting The Government

Police broke up the unsanctioned rally.

Police broke up the unsanctioned rally.

Azerbaijanis are used to getting arrested for protesting the government, but it's not often you'll see a pro-government activist get hauled away by the police.

That's what happened on December 10 when mostly opposition activists held an unsanctioned public rally in downtown Baku. Eighty protesters were detained and subsequently released.

As our Azerbaijan Service reported on December 10, most of the attendees were protesting because they believe the parliament is illegitimate and that elections had been rigged.

One man, however, went against the tide. Smartly dressed, the unknown person faced a barrage of criticism from others at the rally, who told him that his support for the president was shameful. Undeterred, he told the crowd that if they had not had former President Heydar Aliyev there would be no Azerbaijan.

"I'm proud of my president," he says, "They didn't give me any government position. I'm a simple man."

He was then unceremoniously dragged away by the police, shouting, "what are you doing, what are you doing?"

The video has gone viral in Azerbaijan and now has around 30,000 views on YouTube.

-- Luke Allnutt

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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