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2016, 08 Dekabr, Cümə axşamı, Bakı vaxtı 10:16

The United States Is 'Troubled' By Reported Journalists's Arrest


Rauf Mirkadirov, Baku, 14/Sep/2009

Rauf Mirkadirov, Baku, 14/Sep/2009

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has condemned authorities in Baku for charging a prominent journalist with high treason over allegations he spied for Azerbaijan’s rival, Armenia.

The Prosecutor-General's Office said on April 21 that Rauf Mirkadyrov "was recruited by the Armenian secret services in 2008 and supplied Yerevan with information on Azerbaijan's state secrets."

In a statement, the CPJ's Europe and Central Asia program coordinator, Nina Ognianova, called on Azerbaijani authorities "to drop these trumped-up charges and stop abusing the law to silence independent reporting on the country."

She said Azerbaijan is "quickly becoming one of the leading jailers of journalists in the Eurasia region."

Mirkadyrov has been ordered to stay in pre-trial custody for the next three months as investigators pursue the case.

Azerbaijani authorities have formally charged a prominent journalist with high treason over allegations he spied for Azerbaijan’s rival, Armenia.
" We are troubled by accounts of Rauf Mirkadirov's sudden deportation from Turkey followed by his arrest upon arrival in Baku.
The Prosecutor-General's Office said Mirkadyrov is accused of meeting with Armenian agents several times in Armenia, Georgia, and Turkey and providing them with images and documents that damaged Azerbaijan’s security and defense capabilities.

Mirkadyrov is a correspondent for the Russian-language newspaper "Zerkalo," which is published in Azerbaijan.

He was detained in Baku after he was deported from Turkey on April 19.

Azerbaijan and Armenia remain locked in hostilities over disputed Nagorno-Karabakh, the Azerbaijani territory that was seized by Armenian-backed separatists during a war in the early 1990s.

Rights groups consider Azerbaijan’s government to be among the most repressive of journalists in the world.

When asked, the U.S. Embassy in Baku said the following regarding the arrest of Rauf Mirkadirov:

" We are troubled by accounts of Rauf Mirkadirov's sudden deportation from Turkey followed by his arrest upon arrival in Baku.

We are also disturbed by allegations that Mirkadirov's arrest may be connected with his critical reporting about the Azerbaijani government or his participation in people-to-people (Track II) efforts to find a peaceful resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Track II contacts are important confidence-building measures that help prepare both societies for a peaceful resolution of the conflict."
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