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Azerbaijani Court Extends Detention Of Opposition Leaders

Baku, 16 January 2004 (RFE/RL) -- An Azerbaijani court today extended the detention of five opposition leaders for their roles in riots that broke out after last year's October presidential elections.

The Nasimi Regional Court prolonged by three months the detention of Musavat Party deputy leaders Ibrahim Ibrahimli, Sulhaddin Akbar, and Arif Hajili; the chairman of the People's Party of Azerbaijan, Panah Huseynov; and the chairman of the Hope Party, Iqbal Agazade.

Some 120 people were arrested in connection with the riots that erupted after presidential elections, won by Ilham Aliyev -- the son of the late President Heidar Aliyev -- that opposition parties claimed were rigged.

Those jailed in connection with the riots claim they are victims of political persecution.