THREE JOURNALISTS BEAT IN NAKHCHIVAN, EQUIPMENT BROKEN

August 27th, 2008
This morning in the village of Nahrem, in Azerbaijan's Autonomous Republic of Nakhchivan, a confrontation occurred between village residents and police.

During the confrontation, three journalists; Radio Liberty correspondents Malahet Nasibova and Ilgar Nasibov, and Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety correspondent Elman Abbasov; were beat. The journalists were there carrying out their professional duties, reporting on the altercation. Elman Abbasov reported this to IRFS.
"We were attacked by members of the village's administration, the chairman of the municipality and people in civilian clothes," said Abbasov. "The 7-8 people who attached us were intoxicated. At the time of the incident, these violently grabbed the video camera and Dictaphone I had with me, as well as the Radio Liberty correspondents' photo camera and Dictaphone, and Malahet Nasibova's mobile telephone. They took them away, smashed them on the ground and kicked them. These people also continuously slapped, kicked and punched us. As a result of this, the screen of IRFS' camera was broken, and my colleagues and I have sustained serious injuries. The video camera was recording directly onto a DVD disk and when it hit the ground this disk was destroyed, as was the recording from the incident. Police were present and witness this incident, but did nothing to intervene."
The camera and Dictaphone were later returned to the journalists, however the screen of IRFS' camera has been broken and all files on the memory card have been deleted.
A complaint that the journalists attempted to file in the police department in Nahrem was not accepted.