Azerbaijan, Baku / Trend corr E. Huseynli / The arrest of Ganimat Zahid, the editor-in-chief of the Azerbaijani newspaper Azadliq, should be regarded as pressure upon the press and freedom of speech in Azerbaijan, the co-chairs of the Azadliq bloc said at a press conference on 12 November. Zahid's arrest was intended to restrict the activities of Azadliq, a co-chair of the bloc, who is the chairman of the Civil Development Party, Ali Aliyev, said.
On the evening of 11 November, Zahid was called to Yasamal District Court in Baku and was detained as a suspect. He faced hooliganism and assault charges. Zahid is currently being held in a preliminary detention cell. On 12 November, Yasamal District Court sentenced him to a two month prison term.
At the press conference the co-chairs of Azadliq bloc called on the international community to take notice of the arrest of Zahid. They believe another arrest of a journalist will damage Azerbaijan's international image.
At the end of the briefing the co-chairs passed a statement condemning Zahid's arrest. It will be sent to international organizations.
Azadliq bloc includes three opposition parties - the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan, the Liberal Party of Azerbaijan, and the Citizens and Development Party.