Today, September 13th, a group of journalists and human rights defenders, who visited Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic on September 12, held a press conference at IRFS press center.
“We did not face an open persecution, pressure or influence during our visit to Nakhchivan. The news reports in some media outlets claiming the journalists and human rights defenders were pressured or deported from Nakhchivan are ungrounded,” said Mehman Aliyev, director of Turan news agency.
Aliyev said that the journalists and human rights defenders attended the trial of IRFS regional correspondent Hakimeldostu Mehdiyev in Sharur District Court on the first half of visit day.” Although the delegation was allowed to observe the trial, they were thoroughly examined; their handbags, cell phones and photo cameras were removed.
Aliyev added that the National Security Ministry and Ombudsman’s Office in Nakhchivan refused to receive them. The NSM motivated it by the fact that some media have written materials against the head of the NAR Vasif Talibov; and the Ombudsman Office told that the delegation did not make an appointment.
“The Ombudsman’s Office said that the group should have registered for reception in advance. Then a person, without introducing himself, demanded us to leave the Office. Aziz Ayyubov, chief of Interior Ministry’s Public Security Office, demanded us to leave Nakhchivan citing a complaint filed by Ombudsman’s Office,” he said. However, that unlawful demand was ignored and the mission went to the house of H.Mehdiyev in the village of Jalil in Sharur region.
Noting the importance of the Nakhchivan visit the journalists and human rights defenders suggested to pay regular visits to Nakhchivan. "There are not human rights in Nakhchivan. The people in Nakhchivan do not feel free and that’s why they prefer sitting in their house silently rather than speaking out. To increase the people’s self-confidence, the journalists and human rights defenders need to pay frequent visits to Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic,” human rights defender Saida Gojamanli said.
"Deputies selected from the region should meet with people more often, to raise their problems in the parliament and the government. People complain that post offices do not accept their telegrams with complaints. Courts refuse to investigate complaints," human rights activist Anar Mamedov said.
The delegation members believe that even officials in Nakhchivan live in fear.
"Talking to us, the officials repeated the standard phrases and their behavior was defiantly rude. If they treat journalists and human rights defenders this way, it is not difficult to imagine how they treat ordinary citizens," said Editor of Khural newspaper Avaz Zeynalli.
Human rights activist Novella Jafaraoglu noted the beautification measures, protection of environment and historic sites, and at the same time noted the suppression of civil rights. “It is the people that improve the cities. The biggest problem is that the people are leaving Nakhchivan. The people do not seem to be active here,” said human rights defender Novella Jafaroglu.