INSTITITE FOR REPORTERS` FREEDOM AND SAFETY STATEMENT

January 8th, 2010
The Institute for Reporters` Freedom and Safety condemns the tax inspection conducted at the Democracy and NGO Development Resource Centre in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic and assesses this examination as pressure from the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic leadership against the organization.

On 5 January, the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic Tax Ministry began inspecting the Democracy and NGO Development Resource Centre. At the same time the employees of the Tax Ministry are investigating who in Nakhchivan is involved in the projects carried out by the Resource Centre. In addition, the NGO’s leadership has not been given any information about why this examination is being conducted and when it will end.
IRFS considers that the Democracy and NGO Development Resource Centre that was established by journalists Malahat Nasibova and Ilgar Nasibov has been targeted by the leadership of the Nakhchivan AR for its fundamental civil position, and through this inspection they want to paralyze the work of the NGO.
IRFS reminds that these journalists have been subjected to violence, insult, and threats repeatedly due to their work.
IRFS emphasizes that people who used physical and moral pressure against the representatives of civil society and media have been enjoying complete impunity in Nakhchivan.
IRFS calls on the leadership of the Nakhchivan AR to stop the biased inspection at the Democracy and NGO Development Resource Centre, to respect human rights and speech freedom, and end pressure used against organizations, the representatives of civil society and journalists.