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Azerbaijani Opposition Daily Stops Publication

3 January 2005 -- Azerbaijan's leading opposition newspaper "Yeni Musavat" ceased publication today due to financial problems.

The Baku-based Turan news agency quoted the daily's acting editor in chief, Gabil Abbasoglu, as blaming hefty fines imposed by Azerbaijani courts for the suspension. In addition to being fined, the newspaper recently saw its bank accounts sequestered after losing a total of 10 different libel suits filed by senior government officials.

"Yeni Musavat" already suspended publication last month after its publishing house refused to print it over debt arrears.

"Yeni Musavat" founder and Musavat opposition party leader Isa Qambar today blamed the administration of President Ilham Aliyev for harassing the newspaper.

"Yeni Musavat" Editor in Chief Rauf Arifoglu and six other opposition leaders were sentenced to prison terms in October on charges of stirring public unrest in the wake of the disputed October 2003 presidential election.


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