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European Parliament Raps Azerbaijan Over Freedom of Expression

Idrak Abbasov
EU lawmakers on May 24 adopted a resolution calling for an "immediate stop to all actions aimed at suppressing the freedom of expression and assembly" in Azerbaijan.

The motion, supported by all major groups in the European Parliament, condemns the brutal beating of the Azeri journalist Idrak Abbasov and the "campaign of blackmail and intimidation" against another journalist, Khadija Ismaylova, a correspondent for RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service.

There is also a call for the immediate release from prison or pre-trial detention of six other journalists.

Azeri authorities are also encouraged to "allow peaceful protests."

The upcoming Eurovision Song Contest is mentioned as the European Parliament condemns the threat made by radical Islamist organizations against participants, in particular individuals belonging to the LGBT community.

There is also a concern about the forced evictions and demolition of buildings in Baku in connection with the upcoming event.
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