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Azerbaijani Journalist Goes On Trial

Aziz Orucov/Qarasoglu
Aziz Orucov/Qarasoglu

Aziz Orucov, the Baku manager of Internet television station Channel 13, has gone on trial on charges supporters contend are politically motivated.

Orucov, who also uses the name Aziz Qarasoglu, was jailed for 30 days in the spring after a court said he resisted police.

After his release on June 1, Orucov was charged with illegal entrepreneurship and abuse of office and sent to pretrial detention the same day.

Orucov denies any wrongdoing. His brother Anar Orucov, who runs Channel 13 from Germany, says that the charges against his brother are politically motivated and linked to his work.

Western governments and international human rights groups say Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's government has sought to maintain power by persistently persecuting independent media outlets, journalists, and opposition politicians and activists.

Aliyev, who has ruled the oil-producing South Caucasus country of nearly 10 million people since shortly before his father's death in 2003, has shrugged off the criticism.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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