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A well-known Azerbaijani blogger has been questioned by police after being prohibited from leaving the country.

Mehman Huseynov of the Azerbaijani Institute Of Reporters' Liberty and Safety was detained at the Baku airport on November 10 while trying to travel to Tbilisi, Georgia, for an Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe conference on media in the South Caucasus.

Azerbaijani Interior Ministry spokesman Ehsan Zahidov said later that Huseynov was released after he was questioned in connection with investigations launched against him in 2012.

In 2012, Huseynov was barred from leaving Azerbaijan for three years after he was accused of resisting police and insulting a police officer.

Huseynov says the investigation has stalled since then and he had officially requested the travel ban be lifted, but the prosecutor-general's office has given no clear indication of his status.

A second lawyer has been barred from defending jailed Azerbaijani human rights activist Leyla Yunus.

Xalid Bagirov told RFE/RL that he was not allowed to meet with his client in a pretrial detention center in Baku on November 5.

He said he was told he had been barred from defending Yunus by Azerbaijan's the prosecutor-general, but no reason was given.

Last week, Yunus said that another lawyer, Cavad Cavadov, had been barred from representing her in court.

Yunus, 58, is a fierce critic of Azerbaijan's poor rights record.

She and her husband, Arif Yunus, 59, were arrested in July and August, respectively, and charged with high treason and other crimes.

The couple says the charges are politically motivated.

Western governments and human rights groups have called for the couple's immediate release.

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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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