Eurovision prisoner Mehman Huseynov

June 14th, 2012
Today the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety hosted a press conference focused on the detention of IRFS correspondent Mehman Huseynov.

Speaking on Mehman Huseynov’s detention the IRFS director Emin Huseynov noted that his detention is completely unfounded, as he had neither committed any crime, nor did he assault any officer of quick police regiment.
However Sabail District Police Office detained him in order to prevent him from avoiding the investigation. “When Mehman was summoned he was abroad and would have not returned, if he wanted. But he returned to Baku and was present in the police office on the due time” said his lawyer Elchin Sadigov.
All the participants unanimously agreed on Mehman Huseynov’s being a Eurovision prisoner. The government has started the persecution of those, who actively participated in the Sing for Democracy campaign and exposed human rights violations and other problems in Azerbaijan.
“International organizations will recognize Mehman Huseynov as the prisoner of conscience, once he is tried” said journalist Shahvalad Chobanoglu.
“Mehman Huseynov raised the awareness among the international community of the problems that the ruling family caused for the people in Azerbaijan” noted Radio Liberty correspondent Khadija Ismayilova. She believes that Huseynov’s arrest proves the existence of a pressure on journalists in Azerbaijan.
Turan Information Agency Mehman Aliyev said that he had expected such a step on the part of the government. He called this step “a delayed reaction” to the pre-Eurovision events in Azerbaijan, and called everybody to be ready to defend Huseynov.  
REAL movement head Ilgar Mammadov called for public disobedience actions. “Repressions have become a tradition in Azerbaijan” said Mammadov and called for protests unless Huseynov is released.
Media expert Alasgar Mammadli noted that there is a tendency in Azerbaijan not to investigate the cases relating journalists. The police have no right to insult citizens, or to grab and break the camera of a journalist.  
Azadlig newspaper correspondent Khalig Bahadir emphasized that president Ilham Aliyev has forgotten the pledges, which he undertook during his inauguration ceremony. “The presidnet has established a criminal regime, which fights against journalists” said the journalist.  
In the concluding section of the conference, Emin Huseynov promised to fight till the end: “If the authorities want to threaten IRFS with Mehman’s arrest, they will fail, as it will not affect the activity of the IRFS. We will continue our fight in a lawful way” said Huseynov.