Sevinj Vagifgyzy

Azerbaijan Arrests Investigative Journalists

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BAKU (AFP) — Azerbaijan on November 21  detained two journalists who investigate corruption among the political elite, their lawyers said, in the latest legal case targeting media in the tightly-controlled Caspian nation.

Signs of dissent are usually met with a tough government response in Azerbaijan.

“Police detained on Tuesday Sevinj Vagifgyzy, editor-in chief of Abzas Media, upon her return to Baku from Europe, and searched her home,” lawyer Elchin Sadygov said.

On Monday, the media outlet’s director Ulvi Hasanli, was “detained and charged with smuggling foreign currency,” said his lawyer Zibeyda Sadygova.

“Hasanly has pleaded not guilty and denounced the charges as unfounded,” Sadygova said, adding that her client “risks up to 12 years in prison.”

Abzas Media reported that Hasanli was “subjected to inhumane treatment” in custody.

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Amnesty International, the rights group, said in a statement it was “concerned” by reports Hasanli was beaten or mistreated in detention.

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