Pressures on the family of IRFS employee Idrak Abbasov, who is also a reporter for Ayna and Zerkalo newspapers, are ongoing.
The latest development in this continued harassment is the criminal case opened by police station #20 against the journalist’s brothers Raman and Vagif Abbasov, charging them with beating the guards of the Central Urgent Medical Aid Hospital.
On Septermber 9th, the house where Abbasov’s relatives had been living for the past 25 years in the Baku suburb of Sulutepe was attacked by a group of Binagadi Oil Company employees, without any prior eviction notice being delivered. His parents, his brothers and their spouses were all beaten with batons. His mother Naila Guliyeva and brother Adalat Abbasov were hospitalized in Clinic Center #1 and his father Telman Abbasov in city hospital $#4. Local and international organizations believe that the attack on the journalist and his family is related to his professional work.
Interestingly, the guards allegedly beaten by the journalist’s brothers stated that they didn’t complain about the brothers and dismissed the allegations about their being beaten. The brothers will testify on September 17th, in the presence of Elchin Sadigov, a lawyer at Media Rights Institute. Sadigov is defending the Abbasov family.
Idrak himself is facing a hooliganism accusation. Police station #29 has opened an investigation into a claim that alleging that the journalist, while driving his car, threatened another car driving alongside him.
The journalist’s mother, Naima Guliyeva, has been harassed in hospital. Having being hospitalized due to her injuries, Guliyeva is unable to obtain more than cursory medical treatment. The doctors tried to discharge her today, as Abbasov says.
“The doctors told my mother that she’s not ill at all and should go home. I headed to the hospital as soon I got the news, but no one showed me any document for her release, just insisted that I should take her home. Later for some reason they changed their mind and said they didn’t want to release her from hospital,” Abbasov said and added that his mother is not receiving medical treatment even though she is in hospital.
The journalist’s brother Adalat Abbasov who is in the same hospital, is disappointed with the medical service and is expected to be taken from hospital by Idrak.
Unlike the those two, the journalist’s father Telman Abbasov’s medical treatment in city hospital #4 is perfectly fine.
In the meantime, Reporters Without Borders condemned the violence against the journalist’s family.
“This was a punitive action,” Reporters Without Borders said. “This attack was clearly designed to silence Abbasov, whose investigative reporting was annoying the Binagadi Oil Company. This sheds light on the methods used to intimidate journalists in Azerbaijan. As well as directly threatening and attacking the journalists themselves, the authorities are not hesitating to target their families.”
The statement also recalls the case of human rights activist Leyla Yunus, the founder of the Institute for Peace and Democracy, whose office was bulldozed on 11 August, ostensibly because it was located where a park was to be built in homage to former President Heydar Aliyev, the current president’s father. The demolition was carried out in violation of a court order demanding that the premises be left untouched, and the day after a New York Times article was published, in which Yunus had condemned the continuing evictions and demolitions going on in Baku,