On May 30th the correspondent of the Radio Liberty’s Azerbaijani Service, Elchin Ismayil, told the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS) that he was ill-treated by a functionary while performing his journalistic activity in Ismayilli region.
“I was filming the flooded yards of houses along Alakbarzadeh Street of Ismayilli, when Samad Kamilov, assistant chief executive of Ismayilli district, punched me and tore my shirt. He had a key in his hand, which injured my throat. He began to shout at me, saying ‘Who do you think you are? Why do you film all of this and create problems?’ Then he get into his car and drove away” says the journalist.
The journalist added that he had reported the incident to Interior Ministry via ‘102’ hotline, as well as appealed for medical examination. He also intends to appeal to the prosecutor’s office.
IRFS made repeated calls to Samad Kamilov seeking to get his comments regarding the case, but he did not answer the phone.
In his statement to the Radio Liberty, Kamilov rejected the journalist’s accusations. “We were draining the flood waters from yards at the request of residents, when a journalist approached me. He did not introduce himself. I do not know who he is or what job he does. I did not use any force against him. It is a lie” said Kamilov.
First deputy of the chief executive of Ismayilli district, Rovshan Agayev, also rebutted the abuse claims to the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety.