Kanal11 editor Teymur Karimov first reportedly went missing on December 11. But the same day, the Ministry of Internal Affairs confirmed Karimov’s whereabouts in a statement saying Karimov was detained and charged with extortion. The founder and director of Kanal11, Karimov, was sent to four months of pre-trial detention.
If convicted, Karimov will face five years behind bars or fifteen with aggravated circumstances.
Karimov was among scores of journalists rounded up in November and December, ahead of the snap presidential election that is taking place on February 7, 2024.
According to Kanal11, the real cause of Karimov’s arrest was his previous reporting on corruption in one of the regions of Azerbaijan.
Also on December 11, police arrested two more journalists – Ibrahim Humbatov of Azerinfo.az and Arshad Ibrahimov of Dunyaninsesi.az – on alleged extortion charges. Both journalists were sent into pre-trial detention pending trial.
Separately on December 13, authorities arrested investigative journalist Hafiz Babali and sent him into three-month pre-trial detention on smuggling charges.
The journalist was arrested as part of an ongoing investigation against Abzas Media.