The Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) strongly condemned the attack on journalist Ayten Mammadova in Azerbaijan, urging the authorities to conduct a thorough investigation of this crime and protect independent journalists from persecution.
“Courageous journalists have long known that Azerbaijan is far from a safe place to work. The recent brutal attack on well-known journalist Ayten Mammadova, who also collaborated with the NHC, is a chilling reminder of this,” the appeal to the leadership of Azerbaijan says.
It should be reminded that last Sunday Mammadova was attacked in an elevator by an unknown person who put a knife to her throat and expressed threats and insults against her daughter.
Mamdova, who has signs of violence on her neck, believes the attack is linked to a court case involving the kidnapping and murder of an underage girl in late 2019.
“Mammadova, who has been repeatedly threatened in the past for her critical reporting, is one of the few actively reporting on this high-profile and sensitive trial,” the NHC notes.
“A thorough investigation into this horrific attack is necessary and non-negotiable,” the statement continued.
A simple reply to this call will mean that “there is no law and responsibility in Azerbaijan, and criminal groups can commit arbitrariness,” the appeal to the President of Azerbaijan, the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Prosecutor General of the country says.
Anxiety about the attack on the journalist was also expressed by the international human rights organization Human Rights Watch.
“We are extremely alarmed by the report of the attack on Ayten Mammadova, a well-known journalist covering high-profile political and judicial cases. An unidentified man held a knife to her throat in an elevator and warned her that she was “not wiser” and threatened her daughter’s life,” Georgy Gogia, deputy director of Europe and Central Asia at Human Rights Watch, said.