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Editor of pro-Iranian news website granted early release in Azerbaijan

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders is relieved to learn that Ramin Bayramov, the editor of the pro-Iranian news website Islamazeri.com, was granted an early release on 17 August 2012 after serving 13 months of an 18-month jail sentence on trumped-up drug and firearms charges.

"Bayramov spent more than a year in detention just for expressing views critical of the authorities," Reporters Without Borders said. "Other journalists, such as Anar Bayramli in Azerbaijan and Farid Huseyn and Shahriyar Hajizade in Iran, continue to be hostages to the diplomatic tension between the two countries. They must be freed at once and granted due process."

Arrested on 11 July 2011, on the same day as several leaders of the Islamic opposition, Bayramov was initially charged with "activities hostile to Azerbaijan" before being convicted on a charge of illegal possession of firearms and drugs.