Azerbaijan Prosecutors Raid U.S.-Funded Radio Station
December 29, 2014 at 7:38 AM (PT)
AZERBAIJAN prosecutors have raided the offices of a U.S. funded radio station in the capital city of BAKU, according to the BBC. RADIO FREE EUROPE-RADIO LIBERTY reported armed police ordered employees to leave the building of its local AZERBAIJAN service RADIO AZADLIQ.
The raid comes amid a crackdown on journalists and human rights activists in the oil-rich ex-SOVIET state. Earlier this month, AZERBAIJAN officials arrested an investigative reporter working for the station
The director of the radio station, KENAN ALIYEV, told the AFP news agency that armed police had shut the station early on FRIDAY. "Our equipment and computers are being confiscated," he said. "Journalists are being forced out of the office."
The Prosecutor General's Office told AP that the search was conducted to investigate a "grave crime," without revealing any details.
A spokesman for President ILHAM ALIYEV accused the station of working for a foreign security service earlier this month, just before the arrest of one of its journalists, KHADIJA ISMAYILOVA, who has been in pre-trial detendtion on charges she drove a man to commit suicide.