BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Dozens of demonstrators in Azerbaijan's capital were detained by police while attempting to hold an unsanctioned rally in support of protests this week in the central town of Ismayilli.
Police blocked off entrance to the square in Baku customarily used for opposition rallies, forcing demonstrators to move to another spot. They were quickly rounded up into buses. Earlier this week, residents of Ismayilli clashed with police while demanding the resignation of the regional governor.
Azerbaijan has over the last year seen an unusual number of organized political protests and spontaneous unrest like that in Ismayilli. Authorities are anxious about signs of public discontent in view of this October's presidential election, which is expected to see incumbent Ilham Aliyev retain his iron grip over the oil-rich Caspian Sea nation.