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Azerbaijani Opposition Party Demands Leader's Release

A November opposition demonstration in Baku (RFE/RL) 7 December 2005 -- Azerbaijan's opposition Liberal Party is demanding the immediate release of one of its leaders, who was arrested 11 days ago in Baku while protesting against the outcome of last month's parliamentary polls.

Liberal Party Deputy Chairman Avaz Temirxan was detained on 26 November, when police broke up an opposition rally in the Azerbaijani capital.

In a statement released today, the party says Temirxan was severely beaten upon his arrest and sentenced to a two week-jail term in spite of his parliamentary immunity.

Azerbaijan's Azadliq (Freedom) opposition coalition on 6 December said all but one of its activists detained on 26 November have been released.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and the U.S. Embassy in Baku have criticized the recent police action.

(local agencies)

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