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Interior Minister Ramil Usubov (file photo) brought the libel suit against editor Eyyub Karimov.
Azerbaijani Interior Minister Ramil Usubov has filed a libel lawsuit against lawyer and newspaper editor Eyyub Karimov, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports.

Karimov, editor in chief of "Femida 007," a newspaper that covers crime and legal issues, is accused of libeling the ministry by publishing articles that claim organized crime is rising in the country.

Usubov has demanded that Karimov be arrested.

Usubov's representative in the case, Alirza Habilov, told RFE/RL that articles published in the local newspapers "Azadliq" and "Femida 007" libeled Usubov and his staff.

But Karimov says the writings, which he published after the arrest of former Interior Ministry official Haci Mammadov, merely criticized the ministry and are not libelous.

Legal proceedings were postponed until November 13 so that Karimov can review the documents of the case.
Andrey Bandarenka
A jailed Belarus opposition activist has been transferred to a prison hospital, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Andrey Bandarenka of the United Civic Party was found guilty of financial mismanagement and sentenced to seven years in jail last month. He has been on a hunger strike since October 19 in protest of the sentence.

Bandarenka and his supporters say the charges against him were politically motivated.

Bandarenka's lawyer, Zmitr Laeuski, told RFE/RL that his client looked very sick when he saw him on November 4.

Laeuski said he is trying to arrange a meeting with Bandarenka to get a clear picture of his current condition.

Bandarenka was a candidate in the Belarusian parliamentary elections last year but was not elected.

Minsk authorities filed a lawsuit against him after he tried to initiate a check of the election results after he charged that they might have been rigged to keep him from winning.

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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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