May 17th, 2008

“Azadlig” newspaper correspondent Seymur Haziyev has been receiving threatening phone calls for several days. Haziyev told this to the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety.

“I usually receive phone calls from hidden numbers, but yesterday the phone call came from an unhidden number,” said Haziyev. “The person called from a landline phone number – 012-493-1721- threatened me. He said, ‘it looks like you don’t understand who you are playing with. Why do you care who works for whom? Go write about Ilham Aliyev…’ And he demanded that I stop writing articles.”

According to Haziyev such calls were also made to his mobile phone during the first few days of April.

“Some time ago people called from hidden numbers and threatened me with the same words,” Haziyev said, nothing that he doesn’t plan to appeal police about the calls.
“I don’t think anyone will investigate this case. And the incidents that happened to our employee Agil Khalil’s case shows that appealing to some organizations or law enforcement organs turns things against you. That is why I haven’t appealed to anywhere,” Haziyev said.

IRFS called the number noted by Haziyev several times today (17 May), but no one picked up the phone. As a result of IRFS’s investigation it was determined that the number belongs to the Ministry of Agriculture of Azerbaijan Republic. 

Haziyev has been writing a series of articles about Ramiz Mehdiyev, the Head of the Presidential Administration, and he thinks that these recent threats are related to those articles.