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On February 5th deputy chief editor of Azadliq newspaper Rahim Hajiyev was summoned to the Prosecutor General’s Office, website of the prosecutor’s office reports. Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS) research and monitoring team contacted Rahim Hajiyev to get his comments regarding the issue.
According to Hajiyev, on February 5 Azadliq newspaper published an article titled ‘Shamakhi residents prepare to protest’ after a call received from a resident of Shamakhi.
The article reports that residents of Shamakhi are planning a protest in front of the District Executive Power (local authority) on February 20th, to demand social justice. The group has submitted an official application to the Executive Power asking to grant them permission to protest, a/m story reports.
Hajiyev said he was summoned to the prosecutor’s office in connection with this article, where first deputy prosecutor general Rustam Usubov told him that the information was incorrect as the Shamakhi district Executive Power never received such an application. Stating that such information causes tension in the country, Usubov required Hajiyev to refute it, and also warned that if similar things happen in the future, the newspaper will face administrative or even criminal liability.
“This warning is unfounded, as it is the newspaper’s duty to spread information, and if there is or there may be any tension in the country, it is the authorities who are responsible” Hajiyev told the IRFS. According to Hajiyev, he said the same at the prosecutor’s office as well.
Rahim Hajiyev also noted that he called back Alibaba Fatullayev, who had provided the information to Azadliq editorial office. According to Fatullayev, he has an official document to prove that they did submit an application to the Executive Power regarding the protest.