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U.S. 'Troubled' By Azerbaijan Attack On Journalists

The United States says it is "troubled" by an attack on journalists in Azerbaijan last week and has urged respect for rights ahead of presidential elections on October 9.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said, "We urge the authorities to protect the fundamental freedoms of expression, assembly, and association."

RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reported that a group of independent and opposition journalists were attacked by a pro-government mob in the town of Sabirabad at a rally for the country's united opposition presidential candidate, Camil Hasanli, on October 4.

Harf said Washington urges "a free, fair, and transparent process leading up to and on election day," saying there were both "positive and negative aspects" of the campaign period. The country's autocratic incumbent, Ilham Aliyev, is expected to win a third term.
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