PIA.AZ WEBSITE EMPLOYEE CLAIMS TO BE THREATENED

December 11th, 2009
Yesterday, 10 December, “Poligon” information agency (pia.az) employee Elmin Badalov allegedly faced pressure at the Azerbaijan International University (ABU) and he was prevented from doing his professional work.

The Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety hotline was told this by E.Badalov. According to Badalov, he was first detained by the university guards. Then he was held in a closed room for about an hour, and his Dictaphone and journalist card were taken from him.

“I introduced myself to a girl that I encountered, and asked her whether there are bribery cases at the university,” said Badalov. “The student accused me of asking a ‘misleading’ question and inciting provocation. Then she called the guards. The guard held my arm in an insulting way and took me outside. Later I wanted to question a different student outside of the university when the guard interfered and threatened him and told him not to answer the question. The guard took me inside and took my card and Dictaphone. The employees of the guard service demanded that I remove the cassette from the Dictaphone. In addition they took my student card and copied it. They said they would try to dismiss me from the State Oil Academy.”

Emin Badalov added that if he is not permitted to prepare a news report during his second attempt, he will sue the leadership of AIU (ABU).

IRFS attempted several times to learn the position of AIU’s leadership; however, it was impossible to get in touch with the university officials.