Police in Azerbaijan have detained a campaigning photographer and blogger for "hooliganism", his brother said Wednesday, in a case allegedly linked to his work documenting democracy protests.
Huseynov was active in documenting unauthorised rallies while Azerbaijan hosted the prestigious Eurovision song contest last month, an internationally televised event which activists tried to use to highlight the ex-Soviet state's human rights problems.
"We believe his arrest was politically motivated and approval for his arrest was given at the country's highest political level," Emin Huseynov, who heads the Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety, told AFP.
The photographer was accused of insulting and injuring police officers during an unauthorised opposition rally on May 21 in the run-up to the Eurovision pop extravaganza in Baku, Huseynov said.
The authorities led by strongman President Ilham Aliyev have often been accused by international rights groups of muzzling free speech, persecuting journalists and cracking down on protesters, although they insist that Azerbaijan is a democratic country.
The energy-rich state attracted widespread criticism in 2009 when two bloggers were jailed for "hooliganism" after they poked fun at the government with a video of a talking donkey criticising alleged official corruption.
Follow Mehman Huseynov aka @Mehman_Huseynov on Twitter.