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Старый 13.03.2011, 05:03   #2498
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http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/13/wo...ijan.html?_r=1

Police in Azerbaijan Arrest Antigovernment Protesters
By ELLEN BARRY
Published: March 12, 2011


MOSCOW — The police in Azerbaijan arrested 50 protesters on Saturday, the second day of demonstrations in Baku, the capital, calling for the resignation of President Ilham Aliyev, whose family has been ruling the oil-rich state since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Police officers cordoned off the site of an antigovernment protest that drew hundreds Saturday in Baku, Azerbaijan's capital.
Several hundred protesters gathered Saturday for a rally organized by an opposition party, Musavat, which intended to ride the wave of revolts in the Middle East and North Africa. On Friday, about 60 people showed up to protest, following instructions on a Facebook page to wear red and find one another on the streets.

On both days, the police were waiting for the demonstrators, arresting them as soon as they began to gather. They had a harder time controlling the fluid crowd on Saturday, filling a series of vans with detainees and calling in reinforcements.

“It is impossible to live under an authoritarian regime,” said one protester, Elkhan Alnagiyev, who was promptly arrested by undercover police officers who had seen him speaking to a journalist.

Another protester, Rashad Aliyev, said he had come because he was unemployed.

“It’s not that there are no jobs; it’s that I don’t know anyone who will put me in a job,” Mr. Aliyev said. “They are oppressing us.”

Azerbaijan, a major producer of oil and natural gas with a population of nine million, was ranked as one of the most corrupt countries in the world last year by Transparency International.
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The protest on Friday was among the first to be organized online in Azerbaijan, where the number of Facebook users has jumped in recent months.

According to Socialbakers.com, a Facebook traffic-tracking Web site, Azerbaijan’s Facebook use grew by about 5 percent in February to reach 324,880 people, more than three-quarters of whom are 18 to 34 years old.

“Facebook is a huge asset for us,” said Turgut Gambar, who was arrested and released Friday after the police spotted him with a group of young people dressed in red.

“I hear people talking about the 11th of March without us making a huge, huge effort.”

An employee of The New York Times contributed reporting from Baku, Azerbaijan.


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