SOCAR’S INVESTIGATION TEAMS PLACES BLAME ON JOURNALIST IDRAK ABBASOV IN NEW SMEAR CAMPAIGN

May 23rd, 2012
The commission created by SOCAR to investigate the brutal beating of journalist Idrak Abbasov on April 18th in the Sulutapa settlement of Binagady has issued a report, says www.mediaforum.az website.

The investigation team has concluded that Abbasov himself is at fault; rather than the victim of a violent assault, he is presented as an aggressor against whom SOCAR security guards were compelled to defend themselves.

 

“Taking measure within its power, the investigation commission created by SOCAR, closely examined the details of the Sulutapa events, as well as investigating by whom and why Idrak Abbasov was injured. The SOCAR Security Office employees who participated in the Sulutapa events of April 18th were questioned, written statements taken, and further information was gathered. SOCAR officials and commission member Shahin Ismayilov visited Idrak Abbasov twice at the hospital, and talked to him.

 

The report states that these meetings sought to illuminate the circumstances under which Idrak Abbasov was injured, the cause of the dispute between Abbasov and the SOCAR security guards, and the extent to which SOCAR security guards were involved. Photos and videotapes of the incident were watched together with Abbasov.

 

On the same day, Musavat correspondent Gunay Musayeva also watched the afore-mentioned materials, and tried to identify potential witnesses. Analyses of the Sulutapa events were carried out with the participation of the journalists, and their accounts were compared with those provided by SOCAR security guards. Great efforts were made to reveal the truth, says the commission.

 

Two members of the SOCAR Security Office, indicated as suspects by Abbasov, were invited to the General Office of the SOCAR, and their explanations were taken in accordance with legislation. They confirmed that they had had a dispute with Abbasov and his relatives, along with other residents, as a result of which both SOCAR employees and Idrak Abbasov were injured. They described the events as follows: Idrak Abbasov insulted them in very offensive terms, and urged local residents to oppose SOCAR security guards. Shortly afterwards, Abbasov, his brother and several others had a dispute with the guards. Some of the residents throw stones and other objects at the security guards, which gave rise to a fight between the two parties. The security employees said they were unable to remember exactly who beat Idrak, apparently because they were simultaneously fighting and defending themselves.

 

The report also found that Idrak and his family have an illegal property in the area where the events took place. The security guards who were interrogated, added that Abbasov’s efforts to film the demolitions in that area were connected with his personal interests, rather than his professional activity. Before being beaten, Idrak attended several similar demolitions, and called on residents to behave violently, inciting them to fight with SOCAR employees,” alleged Eldar Orujov, head of SOCAR’s Legal Department and a member of the investigation commission.

 

Additionally, the report states that the Ministry of Internal Affairs has launched a criminal case in connection with April 18th events and is currently investigating the case. A full legal assessment of the events and the punishment of those responsible for provoking this dispute and committing these actions will be carried out through court processes based on the investigation of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

 

Abbasov said that he had anticipated this kind of response from SOCAR. “What else could SOCAR say? Of course they will justify the actions of their employees. I was only able to have a brief talk with Mr. Shahin Ismayilov, once, in the presence of my lawyer Fariz Namazli, though Ismayilov visited me on two occasions. Musavat correspondent Gunay Musayeva, who was also beaten up, is a witness to the events. I do not know why they have not included any of our comments in their report. There is a full videotape of them beating me.  There was permission for this assault at higher levels, and they were filming while attacking me as evidence of their actions. They will probably arrest me after Eurovision. But I am not afraid of them. They can beat me, even kill me, but they will not be able to truly silence me,” said Abbasov.