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PACE President Condemns Baku Police Action

PACE urged Azerbaijani authorities to respect freedom of assembly (RFE/RL) 29 November 2005 -- The president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe today condemned recent police action against Azerbaijani opposition supporters.

In a statement, Rene van der Linden called the use of force against a peaceful political rally "unjustified" and urged Azerbaijani authorities to respect freedom of assembly.

Van der Linden also called upon opposition leaders to ensure that they and their supporters behave responsibly.

Baku police on 26 November violently dispersed thousands of opposition supporters protesting the official outcome of the 6 November legislative election.

The opposition says nearly 90 demonstrators sustained injuries during the police action. They also say the whereabouts of 17 people remain unknown.

Authorities say up to 20 policemen were wounded in the unrest.

The U.S. Embassy in Baku and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe have both condemned the police action.


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