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Iran Denies Involvement Nagorno-Karabakh Broadcasts

Source: RFE/RL

BAKU -- The Iranian Embassy in Baku says Tehran has nothing to do with a new radio station broadcasting in the Talysh language from Azerbaijan's breakaway territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. The denial was issued on March 28.

Talysh people - Talysh (also Talishi, Taleshi or Talyshi) are an Iranian ethnic group indigenous to a region shared between Azerbaijan and Iran which spans the South Caucasus and the southwestern shore of the Caspian Sea. They speak the Talysh language, one of the Northwestern Iranian languages. It is spoken in the northern regions of the Iranian provinces of Gilan and Ardabil and the southern parts of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

The Voice of Talyshistan began broadcasting March 20 from the territory, which is mostly populated by ethnic Armenians.

Armenian media reported last week that the radio's mission is to protect rights of the Talysh minority in Azerbaijan.

The Talysh live mostly in Azerbaijan and Iran and speak a Persian dialect.

Nagorno Karabakh (View Larger Map)

Last year, the editor of the Baku-based "Tolisi sado" (The Voice of Talysh), an independent newspaper, was arrested on suspicion of heroin possession.

Hilal Mamedov was later charged with high treason and incitement of ethnic, religious, and racial hatred.

Human rights activists say the charges are politically motivated.

With additional reporting by

Copyright (c) 2013 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

... Payvand News - 03/28/13 ... --

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