Ombudsman of Germany Berbel Kofler Condemns Mehman Aliyev�s Arrest

Baku / 29.08.17 / Turan: The Federal Commissioner for Human Rights Berbel Kofler made a statement on August 29 in connection with the arrest of the Director of the Azerbaijani News Agency Turan, Mehman Aliyev.

"I was very worried about the arrest of the Director of the independent Turan News Agency, Mehman Aliyev," Kofler said.

As a result of the criminal investigation against Aliyev, charges were brought against tax evasion, illegal entrepreneurship and abuse of power. Due to the blocking of Turan IA"s bank accounts, the Agency is forced to cease operations on September 1.

"The situation in the field of press freedom in Azerbaijan is even more alarming than before. I call on the Azerbaijani government to honor the commitments it has made with respect to freedom of expression, freedom of the press and the rule of law.

I will continue to closely monitor the case of Mehman Aliyev and the situation with freedom of the press in Azerbaijan," Kofler said.

Turan IA remained the only independent news agency in Azerbaijan for many years. The country took the 162nd place in the World Press Freedom Index-2017 from Reporters without Borders in 2017. -06D--

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