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Azerbaijani Opposition Newspaper Faces Closure Amid Fines, Debt

BAKU -- Azerbaijan's opposition "Azadliq" (Liberty) newspaper is facing closure amid increasing financial pressures.

Baku's Yasamal District Court ruled on October 29 that the newspaper has to pay an additional fine of 3,000 manats ($3,800) for its failure to clear an earlier fine of 32,000 manats ($40,700) imposed after it was charged with spreading false information about a trade center in Baku.

"Azadliq"s" editor-in-chief Rahim Haciyev said that his newspaper has faced renewed harassment by authorities for its critical coverage in the wake of the October 9 presidential election, in which Azerbaijan's longtime president, Ilham Aliyev, won a third term in office.

Haciyev added that the Baku-based publishing house, Azerbaijan, has threatened to stop printing "Azadliq" unless it receives at least part of the 20,000 manats ($25,500) that the newspaper owes it.

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