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US State Department has urged the authorities of Azerbaijan to release the arrested Turan agency director Mehman Aliyev, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said in statement.

“We are deeply troubled by the August 24 arrest and three month pretrial detention of Mehman Aliyev, the prominent editor-in-chief of Azerbaijan’s only remaining independent media outlet, Turan Information Agency. Other restrictive actions against Turan, including freezing its bank accounts and initiating tax evasion charges against it, are also troubling. These actions by the government of Azerbaijan to curtail freedom of press and to further restrict freedom of expression are the latest in a negative trend that includes the government’s May decision to block access to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and other independent media websites.

We urge the government of Azerbaijan to immediately release Mehman Aliyev, and all those incarcerated for exercising their fundamental freedoms, in accordance with its international obligations and OSCE commitments,” Heather Nauert said.

Armenian News – NEWS.am reported earlier that OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Désir, French Foreign Ministry, Secretary General of the Council of Europe (CoE), Thorbjørn Jagland called for the immediate release of prominent Azerbaijani journalist and media expert Mehman Aliyev.

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