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Obama Speaks for Bloggers

NEW YORK — U.S. President Barack Obama urged Azeri President Ilham Aliyev on Friday to free two Azeri opposition bloggers jailed in 2009 on what rights groups say are fabricated charges.

A White House statement said Obama “expressed his hope that Azerbaijan as a young democracy would implement democratic reforms and increase protections for human rights, including by releasing two jailed bloggers.”

The families of the two bloggers asked Obama in an open letter to raise the case during his talks with Aliyev on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. Aliyev did not comment on the statement.

Obama also urged Kyrgyz Roza Otunbayeva on Friday to take more steps to prevent a renewal of violence after ethnic conflict that erupted in June.


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