INSTITUTE FOR REPORTERS’ FREEDOM AND SAFETY STATEMENT

March 3rd, 2012
The Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety is concerned about physical assault on the employees of Objective TV Rashad Aliyev and Idrak Abbasov.

A protest action launched by a reported ten thousand residents in the center of Quba early on Thursday morning escalated into a small riot. The residents were protesting against the insulting speech of Guba Executive Power head Rauf Habibov. Fearing the further expansion of the protest, the authorities deployed additional military and police forces in the city and a confrontation broke out between the police and the protesters, resulting in dozens of arrests. The police used tear gas to dispersed the protests. During the confrontation, Objective TV reporter Rashad Vagifoglu received a serious injury to his head, and Idrak Abbasov received an injury to his arm. In addition, Radio Liberty employees Javanshir Agamaliyev and Abbas Atilay, Turan news agency reporters Tapdig Farhadoglu and Farid Gahramanov, and Yeni Musavat newspaper photo journalist Farahim Ilgaroglu felt the effects of tear gas.

IRFS believes that the physical assault on the journalists is an attempt to prevent them from implementing their professional duty.

IRFS calls on the authorities to guarantee the safety of journalists who are reporting on crowds or protests and not to interfere in their work.