Azerbaijani Americans for Democracy (AZAD) hold protest in Washington
March 20, 2011
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On 19 March Azerbaijani Americans for Democracy (AZAD) held a protest outside the Azerbaijani Embassy in Washington. About 30 protesters participated at the “March for a Free Azerbaijan”, condemning the recent mass arrests of youths in Azerbaijan and calling for respect of freedom of speech and assembly. Representatives of other countries protested alongside Azeris. At the protest which lasted over two hours, slogans such as “No to monarchy!”, “Free Bakhtiyar!”, “Free Jabbar!”, “Free Dayanat!”, “It’s time to go”, “Leave, you son of a dictator”, “Freedom!” and “Resign!” were voiced and held up on placards. The Azerbaijani national anthem was also sung during the protest. Elmar Chakhtakhtinski, head of AZAD and one of the organizers of the event told VOA that the primary demand was that president Ilham Aliyev resigns.
Elmar Chakhtakhtinsky said that such demonstrations will be organized again in support of the continuing protests in Azerbaijan. He also sent a message to Azerbaijani officials within the country and abroad: “Take a look at history, stop supporting the regime. Change your position, while it is not too late!”
After the demonstration’s statement was read the organizers attempted to present this statement, along with a bar of soap, to the embassy. Nobody from the embassy would open the door.
Original in Azeri [VOA News]