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Hundreds of people have taken to the streets of Azerbaijan’s capital in solidarity with recent protests which were crushed in a town in the north.

Police arrested about 40 activists in central Baku who were calling for the resignation of President Aliyev. The president succeeded his father in 2003 and has been criticised for tolerating little dissent in the oil-producing former Soviet republic.

Demonstrators say they want an end to unemployment, poverty and the atmosphere of fear in the region.

The protest was triggered by unrest in Ismailli on Thursday, where police used teargas and water cannons on people who wanted the resignation of a regional leader.

On Thursday, the Council of Europe passed a resolution on Azerbaijan’s human rights record, calling
on the government to undertake reforms.

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