Situation still alarming in Nakhchivan

December 10th, 2012
On December 10th a group of local journalists and human rights defenders were subject to pressure at the customs office of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, journalist Elman Abbasov told the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS).

According to Abbasov, head of the Democracy and NGO Development Resource Center Malahat Nasibova, correspondent of the Center Ilgar Nasibov, and IRFS correspondents in Nakhchivan Elman Abbasov and Hakimeldostu Mehdiyev visited the customs office to get back the video camera that had been confiscated from them on December 8th.
However the journalist faced physical pressure by customs employees, who insulted them and forcibly expelled them from the building of the customs office. “They insulted us and justified the confiscation of our video camera” said Abbasov.
Note that the correspondent of the Democracy and NGO Development Resource Center, Ilgar Nasibov, and the reporter of the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety and contact.az online publication, Elman Abbasov, were threatened by 30 unknown persons at Sadarak Customs Office on December 8th.  Surrounded by a ring of vehicles for several hours, the journalists somehow managed to drive off. Before that the customs officers attacked the journalists and grabbed the video camera and voice recorder of Abbasov and the still camera and mobile phone of Nasibov.
On December 9th another IRFS correspondent in Nakhchivan, Hakimeldostu Mehdiyev, was taken to Nakhchivan City Police Office after a complaint was field against him by a taxi driver who claims that his car had been hit by that of the journalist. Mehdiyev’s car has been taken to penalty area.
However at the time of the accident as specified by the police, Mehdiyev’s car was at the parking lot of a restaurant where he was having a dinner with his relatives. Moreover the complainant had not personally been to the police office. Besides that there is no damage to Mehdiyev’s car as proof of the accident.
All of the above-mentioned journalists, i.e. Malahat Nasibova, Ilgar Nasibov, Elman Abbasov and Hakimeldostu Mehdiyev and their family members are followed by unknown people, who chase them in a white vehicle with no number plate.
Today Minaya Abbasova, the spouse of journalist Elman Abbasov, was followed home by a plainly-clothed and strongly-built young man.
As reported by journalist Elman Abbasov, businessmen Muhammad Gurbanov and Nadir Mammadov, who had been detained on Saturday, are still held at the police station. They have both been seriously beaten and denied meeting with their relatives.