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June 27, 2006 -- Media rights group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has said the arrest on drugs charges of an Azerbaijani opposition journalist, Sakit Zahidov, may have been politically motivated.
The group said in a June 26 statement that it cannot be ruled out that the arrest is the result of a policy of repressing dissident views. It urged authorities to clarify the circumstances of Zahidov's arrest.
Zahidov, a columnist for the "Azadliq" daily and an outspoken opponent of Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev, was arrested last week for possession of 10 grams of heroin.
His newspaper said that narcotics police planted the drugs on Zahidov, who, they said, had no history of drug abuse.