INSTITUTE FOR REPORTERS’ FREEDOM AND SAFETY STATEMENT

April 2nd, 2012
The Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS) condemns the violence against Turan Information Agency photographer Etimad Budagov and RFE/RL reporter Nushabe Fatullayeva, and assesses it as an attack on media.

Etimad Budagov and Nushaba Fatullayeva were attacked by Baku Executive Power Secretariat head Zulfali Ismayilov and his 20 workers while filming the demolition work at 20 Shamsi Badalbayli Street on April 2nd 2012. As a result, Budagov’s camera was broken.

 

The IRFS states that hindering journalists’ professional activities is the violation of the right to obtain and distribute information. It also contradicts Article 50 (freedom of information) of the Constitution of the Azerbaijan Republic, Article 10 (freedom of expression) of European Convention on Human Rights, and Article 1 of the Law of the Azerbaijan Republic on Freedom of Information (Everyone is free to look for, acquire, transfer, prepare and distribute information). In addition, hindering journalists’ professional activities creates criminal responsibility under Article 163 (impeding journalists in their legal professional activities). The IRFS notes that the assailants must be brought into liability in line with laws, as inflicting injury using physical assault and impeding journalists in their professional activities are regarded criminal actions.

 

The IRFS calls on the Azerbaijani government and law-enforcement agencies to respect local and international laws, create favorable conditions for journalistic activities and punish the persons, who attacked journalists and broke their equipments.