Journalist in Azerbaijan charged with illegal possession of pistol 3 weeks before election

A journalist in Azerbaijan will be held in custody for two months after being charged with illegal possession of a pistol, three weeks before the presidential election.

Parviz Qashimli's lawyer says his client denies the charges and connects his arrest to his work as a journalist in Azerbaijan, a Caspian Sea country under authoritarian rule.

Qashimli is director of the news website Moderator and he also works at the newspaper Bizim Yol.

The court ruled Wednesday that Qashimli should be held while the charges against him are investigated. His website reported that he was arrested late Tuesday and security agents searched his home and offices, confiscating computers and written materials.

Azerbaijan is holding a presidential election on Oct. 9, in which President Ilham Aliyev is running for a third term.