June 7th, 2008

An article subtitled “ANS’ Correspondent Stabbed” was published in today’s edition of “Bizim Yol” Newspaper.

The article was written citing information from ANS TV channel’s crime program “Novbetchi” (On Duty). According to “Bizim Yol” Newspaper’s article, ANS’ Bilasuvar regional correspondent Aladdin Azimov was stabbed in his chest and abdomen on 6 June. The correspondent was taken to Bilasuvar region hospital where it was found that he had damage to his liver. Azimov underwent surgery, and his gall-bladder was removed. The journalist’s health remains grave.

The Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety contacted ANS Company Group President Vahid Mustafayev. He said that the person who was stabbed is not an ANS correspondent. He confirmed that information about Aladdin Azimov’s stabbing was reported in an ANS program. However, he denied that A. Azimov was introduced as an ANS correspondent there, and evaluated “Bizim Yol” newspaper report as provocation.

IRFS contacted the Bilasuvar Region’s Prosecutor’s Office. They said they didn’t have any news about the stabbing of Aladdin Azimov. Finally IRFS was able to directly contact farmer Aladdin Azimov, who is from Gunashli village of Bilasuvar region and is staying in the surgery department of the region’s hospital. According to him, he was stabbed by Hasanov Jabir in Mamed’s Chaykhana after an argument erupted between them. Then it was clarified that ANS’ Bilasuvar regional correspondent, who is also named Aladdin Azimov and is the resident of Jalilabad Region’s Alar village, visited the other Aladdin Azimov to prepare a report. After this, the report about farmer Aladdin Azimov being stabbed, which was prepared by ANS correspondent Aladdin Azimov, was aired on ANS’ “Novbatchi” criminal program.