Journalist Assaulted while Investigating Land Dispute

Zerkalo newspaper reporter Rashad Rustamov says he was beaten by a village municipality chief and six other men while covering a land dispute in Chovdar village of Dashkesen region last Saturday (March 2nd). According to Rashad Rustamov, he was on mission to Dashkesan to investigate a complaint his editorial office received from a group of residents of Chovdar village in Dashkesen region. The village residents claimed that their lands had been illegally seized by the Azerbaijan International Mineral Resources Operating Company.

“On March 2nd I went to Dashkesen to investigate this complaint. The driver of the taxi that took me there told me that the police were searching for a journalist from Baku. I recorded the driver’s voice.  When I finally got to the village, a man, who claimed to be the municipality head, approached me and said he wanted to talk to me at a schoolyard. When I went there, seven men attacked me. They beat me and took my voice recorder” said the journalist.

Rustamov also said that top managers of the newspaper appealed to the General Prosecutor’s Office and the Ministry of Interior in connection with the case.

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