Aziz Orujov

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Aziz Orujov, who has managed the Baku-based online television channel Kanal 13 since 2008, was arrested on his way to work on May 2, 2017, according to media reports.

The same day, a district court in Baku found him guilty of committing an administrative offense, disobedience to a lawful order by police officer, and sentenced him to 30 days in jail, media reported.

Two hours before his expected release on June 1, 2017, Azerbaijani authorities took Orujov to the general prosecutor’s serious crimes department, and charged the journalist with conducting illegal entrepreneurial activity and abuse of official power, according to regional news website Kavkazsky Uzel. The judge ordered the journalist to remain in pretrial detention for four months.

The trial started on September 26, 2017, and was ongoing late in the year.

If found guilty, Orujoy could be sentenced to up to seven years in prison, according to Kavkazsky Uzel.

Orujov has denied all charges.

On June 4, law enforcement officials searched Orujov’s apartment and Kanal 13 office, and confiscated computers, disc drives, and documents, Kavkazsky Uzel reported. In the report, Orujov's wife, Lamiya Orujova, was quoted as saying that after the equipment seizure, the bureau was unable to continue its work.

Kanal 13 produced programs on social and economic issues, frequently featuring independent experts and opposition politicians.

Orujova told Kavkazsky Uzel she was concerned about her husband’s health because he suffers from chronic illnesses. She did not specify the ailments.

Orujov was being held in a Baku pretrial detention center.

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