NGO activist says he is under threat of arrest

Head of the NGO “Democracy Assistance” which is based in Salyan region, Emil Mammadov has reported persecution by the head of the regional executive power Tahir Karimov and plans to arrest him. Mammadov personally informed the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS) about it today.

According to Mammadov, the harassment began after he had complained to the Presidential Administration over the negative developments in the region and misuse of budgetary funds by local authorities.

“As part of the persecution, our newcomer social rights lawyer Tofig Gasimov was beaten by unknown assailants, despite this, the police took him and he was given an administrative detention order for 10 days. I was told that they are planning to open a criminal case against Gasimov with a claim that he was extorting money from local residents through intimidation. Representatives of various budgetary organizations are summoned to the regional police and are pressured to give statement against me and Gasimov. Indeed this criminal case is being devised against me, because as the head of the organization they want to bring me to book,” said Mammadov.

Mammadov added that he has appealed to the President and Minister of Internal Affairs to help end the harassment of local civil society activists.

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