MEDIA RIGHTS INSTITUTE APPEALS TO INTERNAL MINISTRY

April 29th, 2010
Today, 29 April, the Media Rights Institute (MRI) appealed to the Internal Ministry regarding the police major’s visit to MRI office and request for personal information about employees.

MRI Program Coordinator Khalid Agaliyev told the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS) that in the appeal they asked for an investigation into this issue.   
Yesterday police Major Shahin Kerimov, who came to the MRI office, asked for comprehensive information about anyone working at MRI. Kh.Agaliyev refused to provide this information. The police major said that the chief ordered to remove the Azerbaijani and Turkish flag hanging in the balcony of the office. Kh.Agaliyev said this was unfounded. The police major then left the office.
To investigate this issue, the Institute for Reporters` Freedom and Safety learned the opinion of the Nasimi District Police Office Major Shahin Kerimov. Sh.Kerimov said that he went to the Media Rights Institute Office out of interest. Sh.Kerimov said that he is a district police officer of the same area, and he was taking notes in his book regarding all locations situated in the area. “It is not necessary to look for something else here and to be troubled. We do this registration for their security,” said Kerimov.  
Although the district police said at first that he went there by the order of the chief, he then denied it. He added that this was his own initiative. “This information is for me only, and I don’t give information about anybody to anyone. I conduct this registration because I might need it,” said Kerimov.
To the question, “Who gave an order to remove flags from the office’s balcony,” he gave confused answers. At some point he said the chief gave an order, and then added that the flag did not look nice.
IRFS notes that MRI is an NGO and engaged in the defense of media and journalists.