Azerbaijan Public TV editor reports harassment

July 31st, 2013

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The editor of the Azerbaijani Public Television (Ictimai TV) website itv.az Esmira Gasimova has become subject to harassment by the management of the TV channel, she told Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety on July 30th. Gasimova believes the “serious pressure” is related to her being tagged in the controversial info graphic image posted by anonymous user (nicknamed Nermin Denizli) on Facebook. The image involves President Ilham Aliyev.

“I was requested to voluntarily file a resignation form after being tagged in this image. I was back at work on July 22nd after vacation. I keep good work attendance as before. But I am not assigned any tasks. Deputy Director of ITV Ogtay Bayramov says that I do nothing at work the whole day and spend my time in “tea-houses”. Today (July 30), as always, I came to the office at 9 in the morning and signed the attendance sheet for the employees. I’m at the office right now. Ogtay Bayramov has even told me that I’m already fired and this information has been entered into my employment history. I’ve enquired the staff department about this in person. No information has been written in my employment history about me being fired. The management pressures me into signing a resignation every single day, but I won’t do that as I have not been involved in any wrongdoing, and continue to fulfill my responsibilities. I’m going to fight for my rights till the end through legal means.”

Even though IRFS tried to talk to the Deputy Director of ITV Ogtay Bayramov to learn his position regarding the situation, he didn’t answer the phone calls.