Azerbaijan: Photojournalist released

On the evening of 13 June, Azerbaijani photojournalist Mehman Huseynov was released after being detained the previous day. He was arrested after being accused of insulting policemen and charged with “hooliganism”, a regular tactic used by Azerbaijani authorities to silence critical voices in the country. Huseynov’s arrest, together with the sentencing of Anar Bayramli on 11 June and the arrest of other political activists, has widely been seen as part of a renewed clampdown on freedom of expression following the Eurovision Song Contest on 26 May. The charges against Huseynov remain.

To sign Index on Censorship’s petition to support free expression in Azerbaijan, click here

Azerbaijan: new charge against bloggers

An additional charge of “intentional physical violence” have been brought against Adnan Hadji Zadeh and Emin Milli, two bloggers who have been held on a hooliganism charge since July in Azerbaijan. The new charge carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison, in addition to the five years they are already facing for hooliganism. Read more here

Activist arrested in Uzbekistan

Oyazimhon Hidirova, chairman of the Arnasai Branch of the International Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan was arrested on preliminary charges of hooliganism, fraud and tax evasion. Human Rights Watch and others are concerned that Hidirova’s arrest and prosecution may be in retaliation for her efforts to expose corruption by agricultural officials in Arnasai. Read more here

Two bloggers denied appeal in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijani bloggers, Adnan Hadji Zadeh and Emin Mili, have lost their appeal for release and are being detained for two months pending trial on hooliganism charges. Media rights group, Reporters sans Frontieres say the charges are without grounds and that the bloggers have been assaulted. Read more here