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Azerbaijani 'Muhammad' Marchers Face Criminal Charges

Police Clash With Shi'ite Procession In Baku
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Five men will face criminal charges in connection with a clash during a march in Baku marking the anniversary of the death of the Prophet Muhammad, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports.

Azerbaijani prosecutors said they will charge the five with hooliganism and resisting officials.

On February 13, some 200 people staged an unsanctioned march in Baku to mark the anniversary.

Dozens of marchers and five policemen were injured when police used force to disperse the rally. Fifteen participants were detained, 10 of whom have been released.

The remaining five are facing the criminal charges which carry possible jail terms of up to seven years.

Their lawyer, Fakhraddin Mehdiyev, told RFE/RL the charges are "groundless." He said the case is due to be sent to Baku's Yasamal District Court next week.