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    US Calls on Azerbaijan to Respect Press Freedom: State Department

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    A US State Department spokesperson said that the US urges Azerbaijan to respect the human rights and freedom of expression.

    WASHINGTON, December 2 (Sputnik) – The United States is deeply concerned about the deteriorating freedom of expression situation in Azerbaijan, US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said.

    “We are increasingly concerned that the Government of Azerbaijan is not living up to its international human rights commitments and obligations. We urge the government to respect the universal rights of its citizens and allow them to freely express their views. They will be best able to ensure their future stability and prosperity by allowing a more open society,” Psaki said Monday.

    On Friday, Turkhan Karimov, a journalist for Radio Azadliq, which is a Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Azerbaijani service, was kidnapped by two police officers outside of his apartment in Baku, according to a Reporters without Borders press release. After being questioned for two hours, Karimov was released.

    Azerbaijan ranked 160th out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.

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