New York, January 7, 2005
—The independent Azerbaijani opposition newspaper Yeni Musavat
ceased publication indefinitely on December 31, 2004, because a court froze the paperís assets and bank account after ordering it to pay hefty libel damages to several government officials.
The damages, which total nearly 800 million manats (US$160,000), stem from seven different defamation lawsuits launched mainly by government officials against the paper between 2000 and 2003. The court froze the paperís assets on November 15, 2004. Qabil Abbasoglu, Yeni Musavat
ís acting editor-in-chief, told CPJ it is unclear when or whether the paper will be able to resume publication.