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Journalist, editor in chief of Journalistic Research Center (jam.az) news website Fikrat Faramazoglu has been arrested, the journalist’s wife told the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS) on July 1.
According to the journalist’s wife, 3 unidentified men in civilian clothes entered the journalist’s home midday on June 30, took Fikrat Faramazoglu’s laptop and left. When she asked for reasons, they said Fikrat Faramazoglu had been arrested. But the men did not say anything about why he was arrested and where he was held.
For 3 days, law enforcement agencies said they did not have information on the journalist’s whereabouts.
On July 4, journalist’s lawyer Nemat Karimli said Fikrat Faramazoglu was charged under Article 182 (extortion) of the Criminal Code and was ordered detained by Narimanov District Court’s decision of July 02, 2016.
“The chief editor was detained by officers of Main Organized Crime Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs on June 30. However, I have not been able to meet with Fikrat Faramazoglu. I will receive a copy of the court decision soon. Fikrat Faramazoglu is not allowed to contact his family. After I obtain a copy of the decision, I will know who or which organization the journalist is charged with extorting,” the lawyer said.
Note that in May 2016 the journalist made a statement suggesting that he might get arrested. “I ask you to order that my safety is ensured in the face of a threat to my personal life,” the chief editor wrote in his appeal to heads of law enforcement agencies on May 17. Jam.az website headed by Fikrat Faramazoglu does not seem to have a specific political or ideological inclination. The website contains articles strongly critical of various officials and businessmen.