[Ed. – Not much question at this point that Baku will do Moscow’s bidding.]
Prosecutors in Azerbaijan on Friday raided the offices of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s local service, according to its director, who condemned the move as a crackdown on free media in the tightly controlled Caucasus nation.
Prosecutors searched the offices of US-funded Radio Azadliq “accompanied by armed police, saying they have a court order to shut down the office,” its director Kenan Aliyev told AFP.
“Our equipment and computers are being confiscated. Journalists are being forced out of the office. Our telephone and Internet lines are down,” he said.
“What happens is just part of an overall crackdown on free media in Azerbaijan.” …
The move came after a prominent investigative reporter working for Radio Azadliq, Khadija Ismayilova, was arrested in early December and placed in pre-trial detention for two months.
Amnesty International condemned her arrest as a move to “gag free media” in Azerbaijan.
In a statement earlier this month, President Aliyev’s chief of staff, Ramiz Mehdiev, accused Radio Azadliq journalists of “treason”, calling them a “fifth column” working for foreign security services.