Today, 15 July, Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety Chairman Emin Huseynov has appealed Internal Affairs Minister Ramil Usubov. Concern regarding physical pressure against representatives of mass media and civil society by civil clothed police during mass protest actions is expressed in the appeal.
“Recently, it has become a common case for journalists and civil society representatives to face physical and moral pressure while gathering information or monitoring mass events, protest actions, and actions in connection with social and legal issues by civil clothed police,” it is said in the appeal. “The most disturbing factor is that civil clothed police employees’ behavior towards journalists, human rights defenders, and other people is no different than of ruffians who do not recognize any law. Although those people introduce themselves as regular citizens, in fact they fulfill the orders of police officers. Using unpleasant expressions, they demand that journalists and other people leave the area. In addition, without substantiating their demands, they use rude physical pressure (pushing them, pulling their clothes, punching them secretly without making others notice) against mass media and civil society representatives who are fulfilling their professional duty.”
Physical harassment against journalists and human rights defenders by civil clothed police during a protest action held by the Civil Society Defense Committee in front of Milli Mejlis on 19 and 30 June and in front of Sabail Distrit Court on 8-9 July in connection with the arrest of “Alumni Network” Youth Organization Coordinator, ANTV Online TV Leader Emin Milli and one of “OL” Youth Organization’s coordinators, well-known video-blogger Adnan Hajizade is given as an example in the appeal.
It is also noted in the appeal that appeals in connection with police pressure have been made to courts and on several cases to the European Court of Human Rights at different times.
It is asked in the appeal to take measures about these illegal actions of the police that do not bring fame to Azerbaijan and not let similar cases happen in the future.