Journalist Elchin Ismayilli, who is well-known for his reporting on issues in the Ismayilli region of Azerbaijan, was arrested on February 17.
He has been accused of extortion, reported Deputy Chairman of the Azerbaijani Popular Front Party (APFP) Gozel Bayramli.
The deputy chair of the APFP believes that the journalist has been the target of provocation, and that he was arrested in connection with his publications critical of Mirdamet Sadiqov –the head of the Ismayilli Region executive authority.
Sadiqov was released from his position as the rector of Azerbaijan State Agrarian University in February 2013 by order of President Ilham Aliyev. By the same order, he was instated as the head of Ismayilli region.
The case has been turned over to the Investigative Department on Grave Crimes under the Prosecutor General’s Office of Azerbaijan. On February 18, by decision of the Nasimi District court, he was given a pre-trial detention period of 24 days. Ismayilli is being held in the Kurdakhani pretrial detention center.
Ismayilli is also a member of the Azerbaijani Popular Front Party.
Elchin Ismayilli has worked with various mass media outlets in Azerbaijan, including opposition newspaper
and the Azerbaijani corps of Radio Liberty.