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Azerbaijani Photographer Arrested

  • RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service

Azerbaijani photographer Mehman Huseynov

Azerbaijani photographer Mehman Huseynov

BAKU -- Police in Azerbaijan have detained a pro-democracy photographer and blogger on charges of "hooliganism."

Mehman Huseynov, who was arrested on June 12, works for the Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety campaign group and the independent Azeri Turan news agency.

His colleague, Elchin Sadiqov, told RFE/RL that Huseynov was charged with "hooliganism" for allegedly insulting and injuring police during an unauthorized opposition rally on the eve of last month's Eurovision Song Contest in Baku.

Azerbaijani opposition groups staged a series of unauthorized rallies during Eurovision in a bid to use the internationally watched event to highlight human-rights violations.

Human rights groups regularly rate the energy-rich Azerbaijani government's record as poor, citing incidents of police torture, people imprisoned for opposition to the government, and restrictions on free speech and assembly.

With reporting by AFP