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Student Activists Arrested In Baku After Demonstration For Disabled

BAKU -- Five Azerbaijani youths who were demonstrating in support of disabled people on the capital's sea-front promenade were detained this week by police, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports.

Police detained the activists on June 24 and held them at the police station for an hour. They also confiscated the demonstrators' banners, wheelchairs, and petition.

The demonstrators had asked passersby to sit in a wheelchair and try to cross the street, enter the metro, or go into a building. They were also collecting signatures for a petition they planned to send to city authorities.

Activist Sanubar Geydarli said the goal of the demonstration was "to show people what being disabled is really like" and bring attention to the plight of the handicapped in Baku.

Although the government has passed various laws intended to aid disabled people, there are almost no wheelchair ramps at building entrances or elevators at metro stations.