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Agents 'Raid' Azerbaijani Opposition Newspapers

Editor Eynulla Fatullayev is serving a two-and-a-half year jail sentence (RFE/RL) May 24, 2007 -- A defense attorney says Azerbaijani security agents have seized computer hard drives, CDs, and other materials from the editorial offices of two opposition newspapers.

Lawyer Isakhan Asurov said security agents confiscated 20 computer processors from the "Realny Azerbaijan" and "Gundelik Azerbaycan" newspaper offices, and a gun from the apartment of Eynulla Fatullayev, the editor and founder of "Realny Azerbaijan."

The U.S. Embassy in Baku condemned the actions, saying such raids continued "a trend that runs counter to Azerbaijan's stated commitment to media freedom."

"We strongly urge the Azerbaijani government to take immediate steps to allow [the papers] to resume their operations and promote the necessary conditions for all independent media to fulfill their essential role in the democratic process," the embassy said in a statement.

On May 22, a top security official said Fatullayev, who was jailed last month for disseminating false information, faced a new charge of making a terrorist threat.


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