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23 year-old activist and journalist Mehman Huseynov is facing up to five years in prison on fabricated 'hooliganism' charges. As Azerbaijan prepared to host the Eurovision Song Contest earlier this year, Mehman was part of a group that met with the eventual winner (Sweden's Loreen), prompting her to speak out about human rights issues in the country. The police claim that the reason for the charges against Mehman relate to him being violent at a protest he was covering as a journalist. This testimony is contradicted by eyewitness reports. We strongly believe the charges against him are instead an attempt to punish him for capitalising on the international media spotlight brought by Eurovision to highlight human rights abuses in Azerbaijan. Mehman was arrested on 12 June, but released on bail the following evening. His trial is ongoing.
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