Two Azerbaijani Opposition Leaders Charged With Organizing Disorders

By RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service
February 04, 2013

BAKU -- Two opposition leaders in Azerbaijan have been charged with organizing of mass disorders.

The deputy chairman of the opposition Musavat Party, Tofiq Yaqublu, and the chairman of the REAL movement, Ilqar Mammadov, may face significant fines or up to three years in jail if found guilty.

The two politicians' lawyers told RFE/RL that their clients will face trials soon.

The charges are related to last month's mass protests in the town of Ismayilli, 150 kilometers northwest of the capital, Baku.

On January 23, thousands of Ismayilli residents demanded the resignation of the district's governor, setting fire to his residence, to cars, and to a local motel.

Yaqublu and Mammadov arrived in Ismayilli the next day, urging on locals toward civil disobedience.

Police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse those demonstrators.