Fri, 22 Nov 2019

BAKU -- Police have detained dozens of opposition activists before and during a protest in the Azerbaijani capital on October 19.

According to police, a little over 200 people participated in the demonstration and 60 were detained. Police said 42 of those detained were released with a 'warning.'

Videos on social media showed police using force to drag demonstrators away, sometimes striking them.

The protest was organized by the National Council of Democratic Forces (NCDF), an umbrella group of Azerbaijani opposition groups, and was not authorized by the authorities.

The leader of the opposition Popular Front Party, Ali Kerimli, was among several activists detained shortly before the protest.

Azerbaijani investigative reporter Khadija Ismayilova said police also blocked three subway stations in an apparent attempt to thwart protesters from reaching the rally site. She also said Internet service had been blocked in most of the city.

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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