You Must Have Been Kidding Ilham. . . Oh You Were

(Combined Sources)–As soon as the latest edition of the opposition newspaper Azadliq (Freedom) hit newsstands in Baku on Monday–they were just as quickly removed because of inappropriate content.

According to Russian and Azeri news sources–the edition included a photo collage that poked fun of President Ilham Aliyev.

Only last Thursday–Aliyev–however–told a gathering celebrating the 130th anniversary of the country’s media–"Azerbaijan’s media is completely free today."

He even posthumously honored Najaf Najafov–the late editor in chief of the same opposition newspaper–by conferring an order through a presidential decree.

He also pointed out the importance of conveying balanced news to the public–and covering issues fairly. "The development of media is demanded of Azerbaijani society. The press should be free and come out of the influence of political forces," Aliyev said–before he apparently uncrossed his fingers.

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