A journalist for the Azerbaijani oppositional newspaper Azadlyg (Freedom) was arrested earlier this week by local authorities following accusations of violent misconduct.
Simur Khazi, 32, was arrested and charged with hooliganism by an Azerbaijani court.
The journalist is accused of attacking a local resident with a glass bottle following an argument in the village of Djeiranbatan on August 29th.
Khazi’s legal defence have refuted the claims of violence, claiming that the journalist was defending himself from an unknown attacker. “Seimur tried to self-defend and hit the attacker with a bottle, trying to move away from the aggressive man; however, the patrol service policemen, who appeared quite promptly’, detained the journalist,” his lawyers told officials.
Khazi’s lawyers claim the arrest and subsequent detention are illegal and have appealed to the court against the charges.
Fellow journalists at Azadlyg newspaper claim that the incident was a clear provocation and that the charges have been issued to punish Khazi for his work with the paper, which has previously faced several attempts to end its activity by Azerbaijani authorities.
News of Khazi’s arrest comes after a government crackdown on dissident voices so the arrest of several anti-regime journalists, activists and lawyers.