JOURNALITS SUBJECTED TO ATTACK IN SADARAK REGION

January 16th, 2009
Today, 16 January, the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety Nakhchivan Regional correspondents Hakimeldosu Mehdiyev, Elman Abbasov and Mehman Mehdiyev, “Radio Liberty” and “Turan” Information Agency correspondent Malahat Nasibova went to Sadarak Region Heydarabad village to investigate recent incidents in Sadarak region.

They wanted to visit the resident of Ismayil Huseynova, who was forcefully placed into a mental institution by police and only recently released.Three kilometers from the Sadarak region they were met by a service car of Sadarak Region Police Department Head Fariz Mammadov, and another “Mercedes” automobile, which followed the journalists. The journalists entered the yard of the house to check if I. Huseynov’s wife Khanimzar Huseynova and son Elvin Huseynov were at home, however the door to the house was locked. At that time, a group of 20-25 people entered the yard and began to pressure the journalists.
According to Mehdiyev, Sadarak region Police Department Head Fariz Mammadov, who followed them, left the scene of the incident right after confusion began. “After this, when we wanted to record, Assistant Head of Executive Power Ashraf Gasimov, Head Education Department Oruj Habibov, School Director Nadir Guliyev, several employees of “Social Security Fund”, employees of the Executive Power and several taxi drivers attacked us and did not let us film,” he said. “They called us enemies. Although we had vests on with “press” written on them, they insulted us.”
The attackers said, “Whom did you ask for permission to come here? Armenians sent you here. You are Armenians. You destroyed the family. You came here to stir provocation. It has been peaceful here since 1992. Leave here immediately. Or Sadarak people will come and stone you. No one has been taken to hospital. Go from here. You do not have right to speak on behalf of people. Leave!” One of the attackers used force against Hakimeldosu Mehdiyev, the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety Nakhchivan Regional correspondent. The correspondents were asked to leave Sadarak immediately. Seeing that the situation was tense, the journalists left the region.
Most of the attackers were the heads of government offices and establishments in Heydarabad village. They had badges on with Heydar Aliyev’s picture on them.
According to Mehdiyev, he was beaten by police in the area of the house. He also sustained blows from a taxi driver, was forcefully seat into his car and ordered to leave the region. Two police cars accompanied the vehicle as it left the area.
Tomorrow Mehdiyev is planning to appeal to the Sadarak region Prosecutor’s Office in connection with the incident.
This incident appears to be related to the 24 December 2008 incident in which a group of youth were detained by the Sadarak Region Police and held in the police station until morning. During their time of detainment, the youth were subjected to physical, moral and psychological pressure and their parents subsequently addressed formal written complaints to the Azerbaijan Republic's Ministry of Interior and Republic of Azerbaijan President. One of the complainers Hasanov Ismayil was placed in the psychiatric hospital first and then his wife K. Hasanova and son E. Hasanov were missing.