Azerbaijan: Seeking to Arrest Critical Journalists throughout the Ex-USSR
The arrest of an Azerbaijani journalist in Ukraine marks a fresh instance of free-media-wary Azerbaijan having a critical reporter apprehended outside its borders.
Fikret Huseynli, who survived a beating and stabbing in his native Azerbaijan a decade ago, was arrested on October 14 at Boryspil International Airport in Kyiv as he was about to board a fight to Dusseldorf. He managed to alert his friends about his situation via Facebook before Ukrainian police took him into custody. A local court must still consider Azerbaijan’s extradition request, Ukrainian rights activists report.
The arrest sparked fears that the post-Soviet world is becoming increasingly unsafe for journalists at odds with the Azerbaijani government. In less than a year, Azerbaijan has had two journalists detained in two fellow ex-Soviet republics (Ukraine and Belarus) and is suspected of being involved in the abduction of a third in Georgia.
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