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"Khural" editor receives death threat

(CJES/IFEX) - Journalists working for the opposition newspaper "Khural" have reported getting anonymous threats. An unknown individual called the paper's editor, Anar Makhmudoglu, on his mobile phone on 7 December 2011 and threatened to hurt the journalist and his children, the journalists said. The call was recorded.

"You have been very impudent lately and your materials have been very sharp. We will cut you to pieces," Contact.Az quoted the caller as saying, adding that the caller also mentioned the journalist's children. "We know where they study, at what time they leave home and what routes they use," the caller said.

According to the journalists, the same man called Makhmudoglu's colleague, Nuraddin Khodzha, several minutes later and threatened to punish him for trying to publish the new newspaper "ASI". The journalists said the caller spoke in the Nakhichevan dialect.

Avaz Zeinalov, founder and editor-in-chief of the newspaper "Khural", was arrested on 28 October. The department for corruption prevention of the Azerbaijani Prosecutor General's Office opened a criminal case against the journalists, accusing him of bribery. The paper's publication was halted after Zeinalov's arrest. The paper's staff founded a new newspaper called ASI and intend to begin publishing it in the near future.

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