Middle East

Azerbaijan arrests journalist deported from Turkey

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev arrives for a meeting on the 5th anniversary of the Eastern Partnership at the Prague Castle in Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday, April 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

ANKARA: A human rights group says an Azerbaijani journalist has been arrested in his country after Turkey deported him without giving him the opportunity to challenge his expulsion.

New York-based Human Rights Watch said Thursday Rauf Mirgadirov was detained in Baku on April 21, pending investigation on espionage charges. He faces a sentence of between 10 years and life in prison, if convicted.

The group said his forced return to Azerbaijan bore the "hallmarks of a coordinated operation" between allies Turkey and Azerbaijan, and violates international laws.

Human Rights Watch said Mirgadirov worked for the independent Azerbaijani Ayna and Zerkalo newspapers in Turkey and was also involved in meetings organized by non-governmental organizations to improve dialogue between Armenia and Azerbaijan.





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