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Activists Protest In Baku, Demand Freedom Of Assembly

Azerbaijani Activists Protest For Greater Freedomsi
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May 14, 2012
Days before the Eurovision Song Contest opens in Baku, dozens of opposition activists protested outside the Baku city council to demands the release of political prisoners, the protection of freedom of assembly, and the resignation of the current government. Several protesters were detained after a short scuffle with police. (RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service)
BAKU -- Azerbaijani opposition parties have held an unsanctioned demonstration in Baku to demand that authorities permit them to hold public gatherings in the center of the capital.

Dozens of activists, united in a group called the Public Chamber, gathered in a downtown Baku park on May 14 to call for Mayor Hajibala Abutalibov’s resignation.

Police prevented protesters from marching to the mayor’s office, and several demonstrators were arrested.

Representatives of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) were reportedly present to monitor the confrontation.

It was the second protest this month by the Public Chamber, which plans to publicly protest human-rights violations in Azerbaijan during the hosting of the prestigious Eurovision Song Contest in Baku on May 22-26.

Authorities have previously permited the group to stage rallies on the outskirts of Baku.

With additional reporting by Interfax
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Comment Sorting
by: Sara Tahiran from: Baki
May 15, 2012 10:30
Eurovision 2012 which will take place in Baku is the new stage of the cultural and political life of Azerbaijan nation and its high level of development. That is the opinion of many European and western analysts, which you can read in world leading western newspapers and magazines.

Eurovision 2012 is the new opportunity for Azerbaijan to show its achievements to the all World.

Due to the high level of its cultural and musical level, Azerbaijan has won the Eurovision in 2011 and showed to the all World that our republic is advanced than many other leading countries.

By winning the Eurovision 2011, Azerbaijan has received the opportunity to host the Eurovision song contest in Baku, capital of Azerbaijan.

People of Azerbaijan were very happy to hear that they are the winners of the contest and the next Eurovision competition is going to take place in Azerbaijan. We can see that excitement on

Victory at Eurovision has gathered together the all nation. After Armenian aggression, this was the 1st victory of Azerbaijan. There will be more victories later on. We are sure that very soon we will be celebrating the victory in Karabakh. In order to achieve this goal, Azerbaijan has all economical and political resources.

The capital of Azerbaijan is ready to host its guests with the glory. There are new concert halls, stadiums, hotels are built. Renovation works are taking place on the streets, parks, avenues and gardens. Baku getting more beautiful and we are looking forward that all these will be seen by our guests very soon.

We are sure that the beauty of Baku and Azerbaijan people as a whole will be reflected in their hearts.

We are happy that the organizational works on Eurovision 2012 Baku are taken care by the 1st lady of the Azerbaijan, Mehriban xanum Aliyeva, Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO and ISESCO, who has the excellent taste of the beauty and is recognized expert of the world and national musical culture.

Recent international music festivals in Qabala on classic music and Mugam festival prove the high level of the daughter of Azerbaijan.

However, all our success stories cannot be accepted by our enemies, therefore they have started anti-Azerbaijan campaign.

After the victory at Eurovision 2011, Armenian propaganda mechanism and its lobby started anti Azerbaijan propaganda, and were forcing the other countries to refuse to participate in Eurovision 2012.

Unfortunately, there are some NGOs which are financed by the Armenian lobby, also participated in anti-Azerbaijan propaganda.

Covered by the slogans on human rights, they are trying to strikeout the victory of Azerbaijan in Eurovision 2011. The worse thing about it, that they are trying to show this victory, as a victory which was gained by the power of money.

Eurovision is not the political, but a music and cultural thing, which gathers together all countries of the European continent and tries to gather the nations of Europe.

The use of the Eurovision in political games it the immoral action. Therefore, we are asking the government and opposition parties to have these political games in different place.

We are encouraging our citizens to be more aware that these NGOs are reducing the image of the Azerbaijan.

Taking into consideration the above mentioned, we are encouraging the healthy power of the republic, also political organizations to get together in this movement and support Eurovision 2012 in Baku, which will show that the Azerbaijan people can unite in making the major decisions.

In order to resolve all these issues as soon as possible, we have created a site on Facebook, where we are going to download all positive information related to the Eurovision 2012 in Baku.

by: gulnar from: baku
May 15, 2012 10:33
on the contrary, we should be proud that such a competition is held in this country! I am proud of AZERBAIJAN!

by: ILKANE from: hasanova
May 15, 2012 11:00
This is very a bad influence on me has read the story can not work this! I think that the enemies of these people!!

by: elnaz from: baku
May 15, 2012 12:08
Thanks very much for this statement, we are proud of our country, I am proud that I am Azerbaijanian.

by: GUNEL from: gence
May 15, 2012 12:37
I was so proud of our country an even more reading this article. THANKS for AZERBAIJAN!!!

by: Gunay from: Ganja
May 16, 2012 08:20
Ladies do not jealous Mehriban Aliyeva! you have to learn a lot from her!

by: Guler from: hasani
May 16, 2012 09:10
Not the desire of people do not understand what to do!such a competition is held in our country, taking in the heart of Europe, the people not the case in hand!

by: AYTEKIN from: BAKI
May 16, 2012 09:53
We should be proud that there is such a state! Long live AZERBAIJAN!!!

by: eldar from: baku
May 17, 2012 10:12
Azerbaijan is a strong state because of its has a lot enemys. And prosperity of every day is hard for an enemy. Azerbaijan always be ahead!!!

by: fidan esadzade from: neftchala
May 17, 2012 11:05
Azerbaijani culture, agriculture, industry, sports development are flourishing day by day! Azerbaijan, I am proud of you!!!

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