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RFE/RL Reporter Detained Covering Azerbaijani Protest


BAKU -– An RFE/RL correspondent has been detained in Azerbaijan while reporting on a land dispute protest by villagers in the Imisli district near the border with Iran.

RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service correspondent Azer Eli was recording video of the villagers as they tried to herd about 150 of their cattle in front of the district governor's office.

The protesters say a pasture belonging to them was seized by residents of a nearby village.

Police dispersed the demonstrators before they reached the governor's office.

Eli was released pending an appearance in court on May 11.

He was told by police he would be charged with organizing an unapproved demonstration.

Vuqar Qadirov, an activist from the opposition Azerbaijan Popular Front Party, was also detained along with several other demonstrators. They were released later without charge.