JOURNALISTS DETAINED IN SALYAN SET FREE

March 28th, 2012
On March 26th, the director of the Baku Information Agency Sudeyf
Mejidov, the Agency’s executive director Vasif Sadikhbayli, and
operator Ilham Rasulzade were detained by Salyan district police for
filming the illegal collection of bribes at a radar checkpoint.

Sadikhbeyli reported that he, Mejidov, and Rasulzade traveled to
Salyan to investigate reports that persons in plain clothes had been
installing radar devices on the main road and collecting money from
drivers.
Sadikhbeyli informed the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety
about the incident on March 27th:
“We went to Salyan to see whether that information was true or not,
and saw that it was true. We started to film those plain clothed men
stopping cars and demanding money from the drivers near the radars.
Having seen this, the men approached us and asked whether we had
permission to film. Then they called Salyan Police Office. The police
came and took us to the police office. I’d like to note that, we were
able to remove the cassette from the camera by the time they
approached us. After keeping us for 12 hours they returned our
equipment and released us. We had called 102 police hotline and
provided information about the incident.”
Ehsan Zahidov, the deputy head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs’
mass media service, said that he had no information about the incident
and that he could not take proper measures until being fully informed
about the incident.