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Criminal Case Opened against Turan Independent News Agency in AzerbaijanUpdate: 02 Nov 2017 No reply yet
On 7 August 2017, Azerbaijan's tax authorities opened a criminal investigation against Turan, an independent news agency. Turan is accused of under-declaring profits since 2014 and faces a fine of over 37,000 manat (18,000 euros) in back taxes and other charges. The agency denies the allegations and has referred the matter to a Baku economic administrative court. They believe the proceedings are part of a government-orchestrated campaign to limit the organisation's critical reporting. They have faced similar allegations in the past, and an audit conducted previously demonstrated that they were complying with their tax obligations. Although Turan agreed to cooperate with the authorities and to provide them with the requested financial documentation, Turan’s office was raided by tax officers on 16 August. The following day, the authorities announced that they had extended period covered by their investigation and requested the agency's financial records since 2010. Turan is considered by many media freedom organisations as one of the last remaining independent media outlets in Azerbaijan.
- CPJ report: "Azerbaijani news agency's office raided"
- JAMnews report: "Criminal case against ‘Turan’ independent news agency launched in Azerbaijan"
- Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS) report : "Statement on yet another Serious Criminal Proceeding against Independent Azerbaijani Media Outlet"
- MappingMediaFreedom report : Azerbaijan: Criminal investigation launched against Turan news agency
- Human Rights House Foundation Report: "Azerbaijan: Crushing all independent media"
- RSF statement: "Persecution of Azerbaijan’s last independent media outlet"