Azerbaijan: Age No Limit in Protest Arrests
Apparently, the "dark forces" that allegedly threaten Azerbaijan can come in many forms, including that of a little pony-tailed girl yelling "Freedom." In a display of growing nervousness about street rallies, Azerbaijani police on April 17 detained a girl under the age of 10 and an accompanying woman (presumably her mother) as they chanted "Freedom!" near an unsanctioned anti-government protest in Baku, a YouTube video clip shows.
Overall, some 65 demonstrators, including political activists, rights advocates and bloggers were arrested on Sunday for resisting police orders and allegedly causing damage to cars and stores at the latest in an ongoing series of unsanctioned rallies in Azerbaijan.
City prosecutors did not specify how much of the havoc was wreaked by the detained little girl.
Also arrested were three Swedish journalists who tried to film the demonstration. Baku police said that the three did not have a permit to practice journalism in Azerbaijan.
Galvanized by revolts in the Middle East and North Africa, protests in Azerbaijan have continued since February despite roughshod responses by police.
Before Sunday's protest, Amnesty International called on the international community to “put pressure on” the Azerbaijani government to end its "crackdown" on "freedoms of expression and assembly."
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