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Azerbaijani Website Being Blocked In Exclave


The website of the opposition daily "Azadliq" is being blocked in the Azerbaijani exclave of Naxcivan.

"Azadliq" Deputy Editor Azer Ahmedov told RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service that azadliq.az has been hacked twice in the last month, its content destroyed, and has also had its access disrupted by NaxInternet, a state-run Internet service provider.

Naxcivan's Communication Ministry says NaxInternet has not blocked the site.

"Azadliq" reporters have faced harassment and beatings, and editor in chief Ganimat Zahid is in jail on hooliganism charges and satire writer Mirza Sakit Zahidov on drug charges. They say the charges are politically motivated.

Meanwhile, RFE/RL reports that the Azerbaijani government is planning to set up a so-called Coordination Council to control online activities in Azerbaijan.

Osman Gunduz, the chief of the NGO "The Internet Forum," said that the new council will restrict websites that criticize the government. Council officials deny the allegations.

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.

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