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U.S. 'Concerned' By Azerbaijan's Raid On RFE/RL Bureau

  • RFE/RL

WASHINGTON -- A U.S. State Department official says that the United States is "concerned" by reports of a raid on the Baku bureau of RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service.

"We are concerned by reports that employees of the RFE/RL bureau in Baku have been detained in their offices and questioned while the premises were searched by police," the official said on customary condition of anonymity.

Investigators and armed police entered the bureau on December 26, confiscating computers and holding staff members in a room for several hours.

Prosecutors say the raid is part of an ongoing investigation into RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service as a foreign-funded entity. RFE/RL and its bureaus are financed by the U.S. government.

The State Department official called on Azerbaijan to conduct a "transparent" investigation in line with Baku’s "international commitment to protecting media freedom."

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