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OSCE Condemns Azerbaijan's "Hostile Attitude' Toward Media

Austria -- OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović, at the Permanent Council in Vienna, January 16, 2014

“Practically all independent media representatives and media NGOs have been purposefully persecuted under various, often unfounded and disturbing charges,” OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović said in a statement yesterday.

Mijatovic spoke in Tbilisi only hours after Azeri blogger Mehman Huseynov was detained in the Baku airport en route to attend the 11th South Caucasus Media Conference at Mijatovic's invitation.

He was taken into police custody and released after several hours of questioning.

Mijatović also noted that Khadija Ismayilova, an investigative journalist who works with Radio Azadliq, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani service, was prevented from attending the conference as a result of a travel ban imposed by authorities in connection with a legal case.

The case is believed by many to be a punitive response by authorities to Ismayilova's reporting on the financial activities of the country's ruling family.

The entire statement is here.