September 12th, 2008

"Baku Zaman" Newspaper's regional correspondent for the southern part of Azerbaijan Rahib Hashimov reported he was threatened by Malakram Mirzayev, Chief Deputy of Lankaran Regional Energy Sale Department because of an article he wrote in June. However, Malakram Mirzayev denied this when talking to the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety and said that the journalist was slandering him.

Rahib Hashimov has appealed to Lankaran Region Prosecutor's office in connection with this incident. And the Prosecutor's Office sent his appeal to Lankaran City Police Department to be considered.

Today (12 September) Hashimov contacted the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety and emphasized that he was concerned about the delay regarding the investigation of his appeal. “The investigation of my appeal was charged to an investigator named Fuad Aliyev, at the Lankaran city Police Department and the investigation should have been concluded until July. I have been continuously contacting Fuad Aliyev since July until mid August. He said the investigation was underway and told me to wait. Seeing that the case was delayed, I appealed to the head of the country and law-enforcement organs. Several days ago a letter signed by Internal Ministry Investigative Department Chief Zohrab Gandilov came. It is stated in the letter that the criminal action in this case shown in the appeal has not been defined. One day after this, a letter sent to the Lankaran City Police Department was also addressed to me. It is noted there that my appeal is given to another investigator of the Lankaran City Police Department Murad Rzayev. I hope my appeal will be considered within a short period of time and objectively,” noted Hashimov. Hashimov said that he will go to the Lankaran City Police Department tomorrow.

IRFS contacted Lankaran City Police Department investigator Murad Rzayev. Rzayev said that no measures have been taken regarding Hashimov’s appeal to date, and both Hashimov and Malakram Mirzayev will be interrogated in a few days. Rzayev also said that he was already familiar with the appeal and there was the possibility that a criminal case will be opened for hooliganism.