Elman Abbasov, IRFS correspondent in Nakhchivan, faced pressure by the employees of the Sadarak customs and border checkpoint, journalist reported to IRFS today (August 16)
On August 14 Abbasov went on mission to Turkey for the monitoring of migration process in the region (within IREX funded project).
He asked for a form to register his personal data at the customs office, in response to a request from the custom police. But he was denied a form and was told that his baggage would be checked in on his return.
On August 15 Abbasov was detained on his way back to Azerbaijan. His belongings were checked in with the participation of Vusal Hasanov, chief of the Anti-Smuggling Department of Sadarak Customs Office.
According to Abbasov, the customs employees checked his memory stick and photo camera, which contained personal information. In addition, they rudely messed his baggage searching for a voice recorder.
The customs employees released Abbasov after he had called his colleagues.
Abbasov and other independent journalists and civil society activists have numerously been subject to pressure by the custom police because of their criticisms about the customs office.
According to independent observers, the pressure on Abbasov stems from the government’s concern over his journalistic investigations into migration process in the region.