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Opposition Editor Beaten Up In Azerbaijan

Baheddin Haziyev in hospital (Turan) May 19, 2006 -- The editor in chief of an opposition newspaper in Azerbaijan has been attacked and severely beaten up.

Bahaddin Haziyev, who heads the newspaper "Bizim Yol" ("Our Path"), is in intensive care following the attack, which occurred on May 18.

Haziyev said five unknown men in two cars blocked him while he was driving home, dragged him out of his car, and took him to the outskirts of Baku, where they beat him unconscious.

Local residents brought him to hospital after they found him early today.

Haziyev said he believed the attack was aimed to punish him for critical articles he recently published.

Ali Kerimli, the leader of the opposition Popular Front of Azerbaijan, accused authorities of being behind this, and previous attacks on opposition journalists allegedly aimed against the freedom of the press.

(, Turan, Interfax)