JOURNALIST BEATEN WHILE INVESTIGATING CUTTING DOWN OF TREES

February 23rd, 2008
Yesterday at 5:30 "Azadlig" newspaper correspondent Agil Khalil was beaten by unknown people. Journalist himself told this to the Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety.

According to his accounts, he went to Binegedi district to report about the chopping down and burning of trees in "Zeytun Bagilari" (Oil Gardens), located in between the 6th and 9th microregions in Baku’s Binagedi district. Two people approached Khalil there and asked who he was and who gave him permission to take pictures there. When A. Khalil told them that he is a journalist, they asked to see his press ID. Then they took his card, and started to harass him and curse at him. Later those people kicked and dragged the journalist on the ground.  
According to Khalil, in attack on him his finger was broken and he sustained over injuries. The two male attackers also strangle Khalil with the cord from his photo camera, in what the reports was an attempt to kill him. Khalil said, "Their intention was to take the camera from me. This altercation lasted for almost ten minutes. Some time later I managed to tell them that I would give them the camera and they calmed down a little. I had hardly managed to get it out of their hands, before I escaped and ran. They couldn't catch up with me."
A. Khalil told the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety that there were witnesses at the scene and the incident was recorded. According to the journalist, he has already appealed to the Press Council and Binegedi Police Department about the incident. Police Investigator Elnur Aliyev is investigating the case.  
IRFS employees visited the place of the incident today. They took pictures and recorded the scene. Police investigator Elnur Aliyev was also there and said, "We have photos of the people who were involved in this incident and I believe they'll be found."