Azerbaijani police have detained the founder and director of Kanal 11, the third independent media outlet to be targetted in the past month.
Teymur Karimov was remanded to four months of pre-trial detention on charges of extortion.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs stated that Karimov, the founder and director of Kanal 11, an online TV station, was detained on Monday.
Ibrahim Amiraslanli, an Interior Ministry spokesperson, said that the ministry was pressing charges against Karimov ‘based on complaints received from several citizens’.
Extortion carries a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison, or up to fifteen years with aggravating circumstances, such as as part of an organised group.
Karimov’s whereabouts were unknown since Monday morning prior to the ministry’s statement.
His channel reported that Karimov was detained because of his reporting on corruption in the western Dashkasan District and the authorities’ treatment of military veterans.
He is the sixth journalist to be detained in Azerbaijan in a month after Azerbaijan’s raid of AbzasMedia and arrest of their management and journalists and the arrests of Kanal 13’s founder and its anchor. The arrests come ahead of snap presidential elections due to be held in February.
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Kanal 11 pledged to continue broadcasting despite Karimov’s arrest, stating that their director was the latest victim of the ‘pre-election repression machinery’.
‘As long as there is injustice in the country, there will always be those who speak out against it’.