Azerbaijan's crackdown on social media
Recently, 14 people were arrested in Azerbaijan for posts on social media about the recent nationwide power outage and the attack on the mayor of Ganja, Elmar Valiyev. The social media users have been sentenced to 10-30 days administrative arrest.
An additional three social media users face criminal charges for their posts. In a press release, the Prosecutor General's Office accused them of "supporting terrorism" and "disrupting the socio-political stability" in Azerbaijan, among other offenses.
Meanwhile, criminal investigations have been opened into the activities of four news websites. Criminal.az and Bastainfo.com are accused of knowingly spreading false information, while Topxeber.az and Fia.az stand accused of spreading unfounded, sensational claims in order to confuse the public. The Baku Municipal Prosecutor's Office has already interrogated the chief editor of Criminal.az, Anar Mammadov, and the director of Bastainfo.com, Mustafa Hajibayli.
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