Rare anti-government demo in Azerbaijan

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Rare anti-government demo in Azerbaijan

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In a rare sanctioned demonstration, thousands of Azeris gathered close to the venue of the upcoming Eurovision Song contest to call for democratic reform in Azerbaijan.

Some five thousand people came together to demand the resignation of President Ilham Aliyev.

Aliyev took over the presidency from his father Haidar in 2003 and has been accused of election fraud and the mistreatment of political opponents.

The Public Chamber opposition party say they will use the Eurovision Song contest as a platform to focus world attention on the lack of democratic rights in the country.

Azerbaijan has constructed a purpose built Crystal Hall to host the event, which takes place at the end of May.

The new venue has also been the focus of anti-government protest as activists claim that many forced evictions were carried out to create space for the venue.