GERMAN JOURNALIST INHIBITED FROM PREPARING ARTICLE ABOUT NAKHCHIVAN

July 8th, 2011
Michael Ludwig, correspondent of Moscow office of well-known German popular newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung arrived in Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic (NAR) on July 5 to write an article about NAR. Although he had been accredited with the Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan, he had to leave the NAR. The reason is that the local authorities inhibited his work, followed him and restricted his movement, Ludwig reported to IRFS Nakhchivan correspondents.

“I was actually planning to stay at least for a week in Nakhchivan with the intent to travel through all regions of NAR, meet with the local population, talk to them about the living conditions, problems, challenged, see the historical monuments and then write an article about these. Although I had been accredited with the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Azerbaijan, the deputy executive head of Shahbuz region told me that I should register with the NAR parliament as well. However, there was no need to do it. He told me that ‘You willl face great problems if you don’t register. They are waiting for you in the parliament, go and register’. Then we appealed to the NAR Parliament, which refused to give me permission to work here,” Ludwig said.
Ludwig says that he appealed to NAR Foreign Ministry, where he waited for hours and had to visit the Ministry several times. He has reported the issue to the German Embassy to Azerbaijan and the leadership of his newspaper: “I was required to present a plan of travel. A day later they told me not to travel together with IRFS Nakhchivan correspondents Elman Abbasov, Hakimeldostu Mehdiyev, Turan News Agency correspondents Malahat Nasibova and Ilgar Nasibov who had hailed me on my arrival to NAR. I was told that the Foreign Affairs Office would give me a guide, together with whom I woould travel through the region. They wanted to convince me that it was for my safety. It was very ridiculous. I told that I only would travel in the car that I rented. After a very long dispute, I agrred with their proposal on July 6 and began to travel in Sharur-Sadarak direction according to the plan I presented,” the journalist said and added that the guide frequently talked to someone via phone, to whom he reported their whereabouts, the people they talked to, and also inhibited the residents from speaking to him. The residents feard to speak to him because of the guide. The guid also warned the driver against speaking Russian with the guest. He then pressured on the journalist saying the car should be changed and that they should move in the care that would be brought.”
“Every journalist has his honor. I could not agree with that. I immediately required the driver to drive back and I informed that I stopped my work. I had all required documents. Azerbaijan has signed international agreements and has to abide by them,”the journalist stressed.