More protests outside French embassy in Baku

Wed 25 January 2012 10:51 GMT | 14:51 Local Time

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Two separate groups of protesters have attempted to picket the French embassy in Baku.

In both cases the police did not allow the pickets to gather outside the embassy, so the protesters met in the nearby square, formerly known as Molokan Gardens, APA reports,

The pickets were protesting at the French Senate’s adoption of a draft law criminalizing the denial of genocide, which makes it a crime to deny that the killings of Armenians in 1915 in the Ottoman Empire constituted genocide.

Azerbaijan’s International Diaspora Centre and the Karabakh Freedom Organization held the first protest.

The law will influence France's relations with both Turkey and Azerbaijan, the protesters said.

They called for the withdrawal of France from the OSCE Minsk Group, the international body mediating a solution to the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.

They also demanded that French company Total be kicked out of Azerbaijan and all economic relations with France be frozen.

The protesters chanted “Stop, France”, “Down with France-Armenia friendship”, “Down with Armenia-Iran friendship”, “Long live Turkey-Azerbaijan fraternity” and “Don’t forget Khojaly” and set fire to an effigy of French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The protesters handed a resolution to the French embassy.

The second picket was organized by the Public Chamber, an alliance of opposition parties.

Police prevented an attempt by a group of young protesters to break through the police cordon and converge on the embassy.

The pickets called on Azerbaijan to freeze relations with France in many areas.

Demonstrations have been held near the French embassy in Baku every day this week.


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