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24 organizations slam Azerbaijan for clampdown on freedom of expression

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24 organizations slam Azerbaijan for clampdown on freedom of expression

Twenty-four organizations criticized Azerbaijan for the continuous clampdown on freedom of expression occurring in the country, contact.az reported.

“The undersigned organisations condemn in the strongest possible terms today’s sentencing of Mehman Huseynov, Azerbaijani journalist and chairman of the country’s leading freedom of expression group, Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety, to two years in jail on defamation charges. He was taken into custody from the court room, without being allowed to speak in his defence.

The 24 organisations are deeply concerned by the continued targeting of Mehman Huseynov and call on the Azerbaijani authorities to immediately and unconditionally release him and all other political prisoners, and to reverse the continuous clampdown on freedom of expression occurring in the country,” the statement reads.

“Today's sentencing and jailing of Mehman Huseynov is outrageous - another example of Azerbaijan’s best and brightest being targeted for expressing opinions critical of the ruling Aliyev regime. It also shows that nothing has changed since the release of a number of high-profile political prisoners last year. The revolving-door policy of politically motivated arrests is still very much in place. Huseynov is now one of at least 13 journalists, bloggers, and media workers jailed in Azerbaijan. They must all be immediately and un...

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