Mehman Aliyev in Baku earlier this month




(Bloomberg) -- Azerbaijan’s Turan agency, the country’s only remaining independent news service, said it’s suspending
operations from Sept. 1 after its director was detained on tax evasion charges and its bank accounts frozen.

Mehman Aliyev was detained by police late Thursday after tax officials summoned him for questioning, defense lawyer Fuad Agayev said by phone. A court will decide within 48 hours whether to place Aliyev in custody on charges of tax evasion and abuse of office, allegations he says are politically motivated, according to the lawyer.

The detention of Aliyev, who isn’t related to Azeri President Ilham Aliyev, marks a “sudden escalation” in the state’s “persecution of the last independent media outlet still operating” in Azerbaijan, the Reporters Without Borders organization, known as RSF, said in a statement. Azeri
authorities raided Turan’s Baku offices on August 16, seizing financial documents and freezing its bank accounts.


MeydanTV 2017-ci il Məmmədovlara düşərli olmadı: via @YouTube
02:40PM Dec 13
nhc_no Thank you for supporting #FreeKhayrullo ambassador! Please raise concern with #Tajikistan authorities over what appear to be politically motivated charges. #Whistleblowers @hrw @pressfreedom @RSF_EECA @IPHR
01:04PM Dec 13
arzugeybulla exciting news this AM. Together with @TurkeyBlocks we will be discussing technology, #humanrights and freedoms in #Turkey and #Azerbaijan at the upcoming #internetFF thank you team IFF for giving us a place and chance to speak.
07:40AM Dec 13
Rachel_Denber Ukraine's parliament should withdraw this law before it goes any farther. It's a blatant violation of free speech.
07:19PM Dec 12
rebecca_vincent With some of our fantastic RSF UK board members at the #BritishJournalismAwards tonight. Quite a team!
12:27AM Dec 12