Journalist assaulted in Lerik, Azerbaijan

June 13th, 2013

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On June 12, journalist Idrak Abbasov was subjected to pressure of a public official in Lerik city. The journalist reported the case to the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS) today (June 13). According to Abbasov, head of the Lerik city administrative-territorial unit Atamali Najafov attacked and swore at him indecently when he simply wanted to get a certificate.

“I visited Lerik city administrative-territorial unit for several times to get a document I needed. But I could not obtain it anyhow, as the unit head was out of office every time. So I decided to call the cell-phone number that the door of his office read. He answered the phone and said that he was in a nearby tea-house, and invited me there. I went and saw Najafov playing dominoes at 4:20pm, which is his working hour. I told him that I needed to get a document and asked when he will return to work. He did not reply and went on with dominoes. I waited a bit and when the game ended he stood up and shouted at me ‘Who do you think you are? I don’t have to give account to you’. Then he attacked me and swore at me. He tried to seize my camera, as I was filming his actions” said the journalist.

“All I needed was just to get a certificate and use it in applying to the district social welfare department. I couldn’t do it because of the arbitrariness of a state functionary, to top it all, I was subjected to pressure” Abbasov added.

Journalist also noted that he’d sent an official complaint to Lerik District Police Office in connection with the case