Journalist and Video-Blogger Mehman Huseynov Interrogated by Police

September 30th, 2016

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Journalist and video-blogger Mehman Huseynov has been summoned and interviewed by Baku City Main Police Department, as reported by Huseynov himself.

Mehman Huseynov said he had been told ‘fairy tales’ at the Department about unparalleled development in the country and been also told ‘come to the right path, don’t put yourself in danger, people don’t deserve doing anything for them, think about your future, we can offer you a bright future’.

“I replied that I did not need their bright future or anything,” Huseynov noted.

He recounted how he had turned his trouser pockets inside out when entering the chief’s room and sitting face to face with him, which was met with laughter by a police officer who asked why he was doing so. Mehman quoted himself saying ‘The reason I have come to the police department like this is because I thought you could use your magic stick and pull a toy from my pocket’. Huseynov added that a miracle had happened, as they had not pulled a ‘tank, granulated sugar, flour, or anything’ out of his pocket.

“I also told them that what we wanted was respect for citizens, increased job opportunities for people, elimination of bribery, lawlessness and officials’ arbitrariness, and provision of normal education and healthcare,” Huseynov said in conclusion.

Recall that at a plenary meeting of Milli Majlis held on September 30, MP Malahat Ibrahimgizi representing the ruling New Azerbaijan Party called for the closure of ‘Sancaq Production’ Facebook page managed by Mehman Huseynov and Meydan TV which is critical of the president. Sancaq Production has 270,000 followers. The page shares videos and photos on political and social processes in the country, and human rights violations in general.

Background: IRFS photo-video journalist Mehman Huseynov was summoned to Sabail District Police Office on 13 June 2012, questioned for three hours, and taken into police custody for 48 hours. He was accused under Article 221.1 of the Criminal Code (hooliganism). The charges against Huseynov stemmed from a verbal disagreement that he had with a police officer at an unsanctioned protest rally held in front of the Baku Mayor’s Office on 21 May 2012. Huseynov was carrying out his professional duties when police used force against both protesters and journalists, including Huseynov and other IRFS employees, and broke Huseynov’s camera. A court in the Baku district of Sabail released Mehman Huseynov provisionally on the evening of 13 June 2012 but ordered him tried on charges of hooliganism and resisting the authorities under article 221.2.2 of the criminal code. The charges carry a possible five-year jail term. The investigation has been frozen for the past four years. Mehman Huseynov was also detained in November 2014, when he was travelling to an OSCE event. He was told that his name did not appear in the official database of Azerbaijani citizens. Shortly afterwards, when he went to the ASAN Service Centre to renew his identity card, his card was seized.