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Azerbaijan: Prison for a Blogger, Free Flats for Reporters

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev sizes up one of the 255 free flats for journalists provided by the Azerbaijani government.

It’s been a notable week for Azerbaijan’s efforts to control both foreign and Azerbaijani narratives about itself. Russian-Israeli-Ukrainian blogger Alexander Lapshin got a three-year prison sentence for traveling to Nagorno Karabakh -- the first such sentence of its kind. And Azerbaijani journalists who tow the government line received some state-financed accommodation, too -- 255 free apartments, complete with high-speed internet connections.
 
Perhaps it's no surprise that events related to both milestones occurred on the same day, July 20.
 
The first, the sentencing of travel-blogger Lapshin to three years in prison for allegedly illegally traveling to Karabakh and calling for its independence from Azerbaijan has sparked relatively little international blowback.

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Azerbaijan: Prison for a Blogger, Free Flats for Reporters

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