Blogger Mehman Huseynov and Two Youth Activists Briefly Detained

August 29th, 2016

mehman

Journalist and video blogger Mehman Huseynov and youth activists Masud Akbar and Samir Asadli were detained and taken to the Police Station #12 of Sabunchu District Police Department. Although they were set free after giving statements, they were told that they would be summoned to the police again.

Speaking about the incident, Mehman Huseynov said he had been assaulted while filming the arbitrary actions of the medical personnel at Sabunchu Hospital.

“We went to Sabunchu Hospital to visit our friend. I was shocked by what I saw in the hospital. There were people with stab wounds, dying, in serious condition. They were coming and asking doctors for help, begging them for help. However, at Sabunchu Hospital, neither doctors, no nurses, no one received those patients, as if they were animals not humans. They were treating them like animals, driving them out of the hospital. An elderly man entered the hospital crying and begging the doctors to save him, saying he had terrible pains all over his body. He was told at the reception that ‘there is no doctor, get out!’ The elderly man fell to the floor imploring for help. At that point, security guards of the hospital started to beat the man, forcing him out of the hospital. I went up to them and said ‘you are killing people in this hospital.’ I rescued the elderly man from their hands. I had a camera in my hand and was recording. The security guards let the man off and set on me. They were strangling me with the cable of the camera. I broke free from them with difficulty. Then they called the police. I and my two friends were taken to the police station, where we gave statements. In my statement, I noted that I had objected to lawlessness in the hospital and performed my profession as a journalist and conducted filming. They set us free after taking our statements, but told us that they would summon us again. I should also note that I managed to protect the recordings and I will disseminate that shocking footage soon,” Mehman Huseynov said.

Background: Photo-video journalist Mehman Huseynov was summoned to Sabail District Police Office on 13 June 2012, questioned for three hours, and taken into police custody for 48 hours. He was accused under Article 221.1 of the Criminal Code (hooliganism). The charges against Huseynov stemmed from a verbal disagreement that he had with a police officer at an unsanctioned protest rally held in front of the Baku Mayor’s Office on 21 May 2012. Huseynov was carrying out his professional duties when police used force against both protesters and journalists, including Huseynov and other IRFS employees, and broke Huseynov’s camera. A court in the Baku district of Sabail released Mehman Huseynov provisionally on the evening of 13 June 2012 but ordered him tried on charges of hooliganism and resisting the authorities under article 221.2.2 of the criminal code. The charges carry a possible five-year jail term. The investigation has been frozen for the past four years. Mehman Huseynov was also detained in November 2014, when he was travelling to an OSCE event. He was told that his name did not appear in the official database of Azerbaijani citizens. Shortly afterwards, when he went to the ASAN Service Centre to renew his identity card, his card was seized.