PRESSURE AGAINST JOURNALISTS IN NAKHCHIVAN CONTINUES

August 4th, 2009
The work of journalists has been restricted today due to President Ilham Aliyev’s visit to Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, according to Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety Nakhchivan regional correspondents.

A number of policemen surrounded the apartment rented temporarily to provide space for Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety Nakhchivan regional correspondents, and interfered with their movement so they could not leave the office.  At 10:00 a.m. the correspondents wanted to leave the office to gather information in connection with the visit of the president when they were detained by civil clothed people. They were banned from moving around.
The correspondents asked them about their identity and they said they were the employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Nakhchivan AR. One of them introduced himself as Etibar and demanded that the correspondents turn off their Dictaphones and cameras. However, their Dictaphones and cameras were turned off at the time. After a long discussion those people called their chief. After Nakhchivan AR Internal Affairs Ministry’s high-ranking official came the area, the correspondents were allowed to move in one direction – opposite direction from Heydar Aliyev palace where the president would participate in an event.
At morning hours in Nakhchivan city the movement of people and transport was restricted. Posts were organized by civil clothed employees of law enforcement organs in all streets. People were banned from moving within 2-3 km from areas where the president was moving. People were not permitted to move in the yards of the buildings. Electric was ceased in main districts of the city. Access to internet was restricted and internet clubs had to cease operations for hours.