May 23rd, 2008

Today (23 May) the Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety received a fax from the Ministry of Agriculture.

The document received by fax is a response letter signed by Azerbaijan Republic Communication and Information Technologies Ministry Report Calculation Department Head N.Mardanov and sent to the Ministry of Agriculture. 
 "In response to your letter #9/3-13/28 and dated 21.05.2008 we want to let you know that no intra-city, mobile, or international calls were made from the phone number 493-1721 on 21.05.2008," it is noted in the letter. 
 Recall that on 17 May "Azadlig" newspaper analyst Seymur Haziyev Reported to IRFS that calls came to his mobile phone from a landline phone number 012-493-1721 and he was threatened. 
 IRFS conducted an investigation and determined that the number 012-493-1721 belongs to the Ministry of Agriculture of Azerbaijan Republic. Later IRFS contacted the Ministry of Agriculture. Telman Orucov, Head of Calculation and Account Department of the Ministry, told IRFS that no call was made to Haziyev's mobile number from this phone. "We will try to investigate this issue. First of all will send an information request to the Communication and Information Technologies Ministry and will introduce the response to our letter to IRFS," he said.  The fax mentioned above is the response to this inquiry. 
 IRFS contacted Seymur Haziyev again to learn his position on this matter. "This is puzzling for me as well. The series of articles I have been writing has nothing to do with the Ministry of Agriculture. I am not claiming that the threatening call came from the Ministry of Agriculture. The fact is that a call was made from that number and I was threatened," said Haziyev, noting that he has started a journalistic investigation into this perplexing situation.