Azerbaijan arrests two journalists investigating political corruption | Freedom of the Press Information

The arrests of the director and editor in chief of Abzas Media come after a sequence of studies wanting into officers’ wealth.

Two journalists have been arrested in Azerbaijan, in keeping with their attorneys, after their media outlet not too long ago printed a sequence of studies wanting into the wealth of high-ranking authorities officers and the household of President Ilham Aliyev.

Sevinj Vagifgyzy, the editor in chief of privately owned Abzas Media, was arrested and her residence was searched on Tuesday, her lawyer and Abzas Media mentioned.

A day earlier, police additionally arrested Ulvi Hasanli, the director of the identical media outlet, on expenses of “smuggling overseas foreign money”.

Hasanli pleaded not responsible to the fees, for which he might face 12 years in jail, his lawyer Zibeyda Sadygova mentioned.

Abzas Media reported that Hasanli confronted “inhumane therapy” whereas in custody, together with being punched and kicked by officers who requested him about his corruption investigations.

In the meantime, police additionally raided the media outlet’s workplace in Baku and kicked out journalists trying to doc the search from exterior, footage from Abvas Media exhibits.

Abzas Media is likely one of the few impartial media shops left in Azerbaijan following a close to decade-long marketing campaign in opposition to impartial media and press rights teams, the Committee to Shield Journalists mentioned.

Stifling dissent

Natalia Nozadze, a South Caucasus researcher with rights group Amnesty Worldwide, mentioned Hasanli’s arrest “matches right into a sample of critics being arrested by the authorities to stifle their dissent”.

She mentioned Hasanli “has bravely uncovered allegations of high-level corruption in Azerbaijan and coated crucial problems with public curiosity” and that he has previously “confronted repeated harassment from the federal government”.

Indicators of dissent are sometimes met with a tricky authorities response in Azerbaijan, an energy-rich nation lengthy dominated by the Aliyev dynasty.

In July, Azerbaijan arrested high-profile political economist and civil activist Gubad Ibadoghlu on expenses of varied monetary crimes, which he has denied.

He has mentioned his prosecution was retaliation for exposing high-level corruption in Azerbaijan.

Amnesty Worldwide has mentioned Ibadoghlu has important well being points, and his life is at risk “on account of unsafe jail circumstances and denial of sufficient healthcare”.

The federal government of Aliyev, who has dominated the nation with an iron fist since 2003 after succeeding from his father Heydar, has lengthy confronted worldwide criticism over the nation’s poor democratic file.

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