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Azerbaijani Journalist Arrested After Challenging President Aliyev on So-Called “Zangezur Corridor”

Updated: Jan 17


Azerbaijani Journalist Arrested After Challenging President Aliyev on so-called “Zangezur Corridor”
Photo from Shahin Rzayev's Facebook page

UPDATE: EU Ambassador to Azerbaijan Peter Michalko expressed his disappointment regarding the human rights situation in Azerbaijan.


"I was appalled by the reports of denigrating treatment of some of the journalists recently arrested in Azerbaijan, particularly young women, handcuffed in courtroom, put in glass cages or not allowed basic human needs. Everybody has the right to be treated with dignity and respect."


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A prominent Azerbaijani journalist by the name of Shahin Rzayev was arrested on Monday in Azerbaijan after writing a social media post that questioned President Ilham Aliyev's claims regarding the opening of the so called "Zangezur corridor" via Armenia, adopting a seemingly pro-Armenian stance.


Rzayev's arrest came in the wake of his critical post, where he addressed President Aliyev's opinion about the free passage of people, cargo, and vehicles in transit from Azerbaijan to Nakhijevan without inspection or customs administration. Expressing skepticism, Rzayev questioned whether the same conditions applied on the territory of Iran, particularly referencing the customs and passport control imposed by Iran on Azerbaijani citizens, goods, and vehicles traveling to Nakhijevan through its territory.



The Azerbaijani journalist's inquiry sparked controversy among Azerbaijani "patriot" social media users, with some arguing that comparing Armenia to Iran was inappropriate. Accusations of Rzayev voicing pro-Armenian theories further intensified the backlash from certain segments of the online community.


This incident is not the first time Rzayev has faced criticism. Previously, he was scrutinized for mocking an artificial intelligence-generated photo depicting the "occupation" of Yerevan, a controversial image circulating widely on social media.


It appears that Rzayev's arrest is part of a larger pattern by Azerbaijani authorities to suppress opposition and dissenting voices, particularly those questioning the government's land-grabbing ambitions and peace talks framed around the "corridor" terminology. Despite Rzayev's recent avoidance of direct criticism toward the Azerbaijani authorities, opting for sarcastic posts and "naive" questions, he now finds himself behind bars, highlighting the increasing intolerance towards dissenting views within the country.


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