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Azerbaijani Town Residents Charged In Connection With Mass Protests

Police detain a man who was protesting in solidarity with Ismayilli residents after a riot in Baku on January 26.
ISMAYILLI, Azerbaijan -- Six residents of the village of Hacihasanli in Azerbaijan's Ismayilli district have been arrested in connection with last month's mass protests.

Relatives of the six men told RFE/RL that they are still in custody.

Ismayilli district authorities say they have arrested 14 people.

All have been charged with damaging private property and disobeying police orders.

On January 23, thousands of residents in the town of Ismayilli, 150 kilometers northwest of the capital, Baku, demanded the resignation of the district's governor, setting fire to his residence, to cars, and to a local motel.

Police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the demonstrators.

Activists protested in Baku the next day, expressing solidarity with Ismayilli residents and demanding the release of arrested protesters.