The arrests of the director and editor in chief of Abzas Media come after a sequence of stories wanting into officers’ wealth.
Two journalists have been arrested in Azerbaijan, based on their attorneys, after their media outlet just lately printed a sequence of stories 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 stated.
A day earlier, police additionally arrested Ulvi Hasanli, the director of the identical media outlet, on expenses of “smuggling overseas forex”.
Hasanli pleaded not responsible to the costs, for which he might face 12 years in jail, his lawyer Zibeyda Sadygova stated.
Abzas Media reported that Hasanli confronted “inhumane remedy” 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 reveals.
Abzas Media is likely one of the few unbiased media shops left in Azerbaijan following a close to decade-long marketing campaign towards unbiased media and press rights teams, the Committee to Shield Journalists stated.
Natalia Nozadze, a South Caucasus researcher with rights group Amnesty Worldwide, stated Hasanli’s arrest “matches right into a sample of critics being arrested by the authorities to stifle their dissent”.
She stated Hasanli “has bravely uncovered allegations of high-level corruption in Azerbaijan and lined essential problems with public curiosity” and that he has up to now “confronted repeated harassment from the federal government”.
Indicators of dissent are sometimes met with a troublesome 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 stated his prosecution was retaliation for exposing high-level corruption in Azerbaijan.
Amnesty Worldwide has stated Ibadoghlu has important well being points, and his life is in peril “as a result of unsafe jail circumstances and denial of enough 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 document.