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IRFS notes that Azerbaijani law does not require to include equipments
worth less than 1,000 AZN in the customs declaration. Besides, the
journalists, when crossed the border back, were not demanded to enlist
the equipments in the declaration. Moreover, they had the equipments
when they moved to Turkish side, which must have been recorded by
surveillance cameras as well.
IRFS believes that confiscation of the journalists’ equipments is
equal to hindrance in their professional activity. The ruling
establishment of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic has, for a long while,
been creating obstacles before the journalists operating in
Nakhchivan. Local and foreign journalist have repeatedly been
persecuted or deported from Nakhchivan. IRFS believes that this
incident is part of the continued persecution and harassment of
journalists in Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic.
IRFS calls on the authorities of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic and
Azerbaijan to take necessary measure in regards to the incident,
ensure the return of the journalists’ equipments and punish the
persons, who violated the journalists’ rights.