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Azerbaijan: Bloggers Under the Influence

In the "law and order" handbook of Azerbaijan's police, you might think that "blogger" is a synonym for drug addicts or street bullies. On September 29, the police detained yet another blogger, Zaur Qurbanly, and, yes, on suspicion of possession of narcotics.

But maybe it makes sense to them. If Qurbanly was not high on something, then why would he be bashing the government and be involved in the Nida youth opposition movement? Was he not the guy handing out flyers with President Ilham Aliyev’s silhouette captioned “I Will Go in 2013 if You Join Nida”?

But that’s not the full list of the blogger’s heinous offenses, the thinking, no doubt, goes. He had the gall to criticize the government for making the poetry of President Aliyev’s elder daughter, Leyla, about her grandfather (the late President Heydar Aliyev ) a compulsory read in Azerbaijani schools.

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Azerbaijan: Bloggers Under the Influence

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