NAKHCHIVAN CUSTOMS OFFICE DESTROYS JOURNALISTS’ EQUIPMENT

April 9th, 2012
On the evening of April 6th, employees of Sadarak Customs Office returned the voice recorder, video and still cameras belonging to IRFS correspondents in Nakhchivan, which had been illegally confiscated from them.

Upon examining their equipment, the journalists discovered that the video camera had been deliberately broken, and the memory card of the photo camera had been removed, journalist Elman Abbasov reported to the IRFS.

 “Vusal Hasanov (chief of the Anti-Smuggling Department of Sadarak Customs Office) phoned my colleague Hakimeldostu Mehdiyev and asked him to come to the customs office to collect the equipment. He arrived at the customs office before me. He expressed his objection to seeing the equipments unpacked on the table, as they had been packed at the time that they were confiscated. He wanted to carry out an examination of the equipment, but the employees of the customs office refused.”

Abbasov noted that they repeatedly phoned Vusal Hasanov but he did not reply. Then the journalists tried to meet with Mirmahammad Seyidov (the chief of the Sadarak Customs Office) to express their objection and to demand the return of the memory card. The man on duty said that Seyidov was not at the office, which the journalists believe was a lie.

To note, on April 4th Hakimeldostu Mehdiyev and Elman Abbasov (IRFS correspondents in Nakhchivan) encountered harrassment at the Sadarak Customs Office. When the journalists were returning from Turkey, they were searched, and Vusal Hasanov (the chief of the Anti-Smuggling Department of the Sadarak Customs Office) seized their voice recorder, video and still cameras. Despite a two-hour argument between the journalists and Mirmahammad Seyidov, a protocol on the confiscation of the equipments was not compiled.