CLOSED HEARING FOR JOURNALISTS

October 20th, 2010
Today the Khazar District Court held a preliminary hearing on the appeal of Yeni Musavat newspaper employee Elmin Bedelov and Milli Yol newspaper correspondent Anar Aliyev. They were appealing the Court’s refusal to open a criminal case against Khazar District Police Office.  

Because it was a closed hearing, the press was not allowed to attend.
On July 28th, journalists Elmin Bedelov and Anar Garayli were subjected to physical assault while they were preparing a report on the luxury estates in Mardakan. A camera belonging to Yeni Musavat newspaper was damaged. The journalists said that when they tried to take photos of a villa said to belong to Ziya Mammadov, they were beaten by guards.  The journalists were released after being detained for 3 hours. The photos were deleted and the memory card was broken. The journalists subsequently lodged a complaint with Khazar District Police Department #1. On August 2nd, the complaint was transferred to the investigations department of Khazar District Police Office for investigation.
The Court refused to open a lawsuit against the Police Department. The journalists appealed against this decision, on the grounds that their case had  not been properly investigated. They also requested an investigation of of the July 28th incident.
Bedelov`s lawyer Fariz Namazli told the judge that the criminal case had not been properly investigated, and that the details surrounding the decision had not been released to the public. Judge Jeyhun Gadimov scheduled the next  hearing  for 21st of October at 2:45 p.m.
BACKGROUND
On 28 July, journalists Elmin Bedelov and Anar Garayli were subjected to physical harassment while they were preparing reportage about the luxury estates in Mardakan. A photo camera that belonged to Yeni Musavat newspaper’s editorial-office, was damaged. The sufferers said that when they wanted to take photos of the villa claimed to belong to Ziya Mammadov, they were beaten by guards.  The journalists were released after being detained for 3 hours. The photos were deleted and the memory card was broken prior to their release. The sufferers then complained to Khazar District Police Department #1. On 2 August, 2010 the complaint was transferred to investigation department of Khazar District Police Office for investigation. Citing that the criminal case was not investigated properly, both complainers filed a lawsuit to the court demanding annulment of the illegal decision on refusal to launch criminal proceedings, as well as to task the defendant side with the investigation of the complaint on the  28 July, 2010 incident.