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U.S. Welcomes Decision To Allow Activist To Leave Azerbaijan

The United States has welcomed the Azerbaijani government's decision to allow opposition activist Emin Huseynov to leave the country, but called for the release of other detained activists.

Describing Huseynov as "a courageous proponent of media freedom," State Department spokesman John Kirby urged the Azerbaijani government on June 13 to “extend this same good will to others considered to have been incarcerated for their civic activism."

Switzerland said the 35-year-old journalist and human rights activist left his country onboard the plane of a top Swiss diplomat who was in Baku to attend the opening of the European Games on June 12.

Huseynov, a fierce critic of authoritarian President Ilham Aliyev, sought shelter at the Swiss Embassy in August after Azerbaijani authorities charged him with "illegal entrepreneurship and tax evasion."

The charges are widely seen as retaliation for his opposition work.

Based on reporting by AFP