JOURNALIST FACES PRESSURE OVER BOOK

January 16th, 2008
Freelance journalist Anar Mahmudoglu told the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety that, he has been facing harassment ever since publication of the book “Lifetime Struggle.

Mahmudoglu said, “Because I reflect on the negative nuances as well as positive nuances of the former president of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev in the book, I am facing pressure. I was firstly attacked by “XXI Asr” newspaper, who was founder Mammad Alizade. On 17 November 2007 M. Alizade wrote an article against me in the newspaper. “Republicans” newspaper founder Subut Asadov also wrote an article against me on 28 November 2007. Then on November 30 in “Azad Azerbaijan” newspaper two authors Barat Karimov and Bakhtiyar Huseynov wrote articles against me according to Presidential Administration’s department chairman Gafar Aliyev’s wish. In all articles written against me, it is noted that I cast a shadow on H. Aliyev personality in my book. But I want to note that in my book I reflected H. Aliyev’s both negative and positive features. The Presidential Administration and Ministry of National Security marked the part related to H. Aliyev and sent the book to the Presidium of the National Science Academy. As the result of this, I was dismissed from National Sciences Academy. I would like to note that, I faced pressures before this. A man by the name of Elshan Aliyev sent me a telegram from Lankaran. According to his telegram, I cast a shadow H. Aliyev personality in my book. On 29 December 2007 I went to the Vilvan village of Lankaran region related to this matter and met with the man who sent me a telegram. While coming back I was arrested by Lankaran City Criminal Investigation Department chairman Ilham Ahmadov and kept illegally for more than five hours in the department. When I asked the reason for my arrest, I was told that a man from Vilvan village sent a telegram to the police department and claims that I humiliated Lankaran City Executive Administration chairman Suleyman Mikayilov.”  

The journalist, who has not appealed to any law enforcement agencies yet, noted that yesterday (January 15) Ministry of Interior Personnel Staff Working Department chairman Ramiz Akhundov called Mahmudoglu’s friends and ordered the author to come to the Ministry of Interior. Anar Mahmudoglu said, “Today I spoke via telephone with R. Akhundov and he ordered me to send him the book.”