HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER FACES THREAT AND INSULT AT CUSTOMS OFFICE

February 3rd, 2011
Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS) chairman Emin Huseynov was met with insults and pressure on February 1 evening at the Customs checkpoint in Heydar Aliyev airport from State Customs Committee employees. At a press conference today at the IRFS press center he elaborated on the details.

rightAccording to Huseynov, he was stopped at the customs checkpoint while returning from Dubai and was held for 3 hours without anytihng to eat or drink.
“There was a long queue at the customs checkpoint. The people, particularly those with Blackberries were stopped. They took AZN 75 for each phone. Most people were stopped and set free upon confidential talks. I was told that I had to write a statement. I wrote a statement and noted the equipment I brought. I had brought 2 TV stations, 2 mobile phones, several car lamps and a car music player. While leaving Azerbaijan, I took 2 old cameras with me to find new memory card suitable for them, they made me note the two old cameras and also my personal 3 phones in the statement. Nonetheless, they didn’t give me an official customs fee note and informed that my things were confiscated,”  Huseynov said.
Huseynov also added that he faced inhumane treatment from about 10 employees of Customs Comittee and his things were viewed without participation of case witnesses and without explaining his rights to him.
“Even one person approached me with a knife in his hand and said ‘what the hell is the law you mean’ and then threatened me. At least 20 security cameras recorded these moments,” Huseynov noted. He added that despite his being a 2nd group disabled person, he was forced by the customs employees to carry things, which caused problems in his health. Only after medical treatment in the airport did he begin to feel normal.
At the end of the conference, Huseynov noted that he will appeal to the State Committee leadership and if he achieves no result, he will go to court and even take the case to the European Court if necessary.