The South Caucasus Network of Human Rights Defenders

The OSCE condemns kidnapping and beating of the Azeri Journalist
The OSCE special reporter on freedom of media, Dunja Mijatovic condemned the kidnapping and beating of the “Azadliq” newspaper columnist, Seimur Khaziev in night of 26th March. In her statement dated by 28th, Ms. Mijatovic called on Azeri authorities to take urgent measures to stop violence against journalists.

According to the Caucasian Knot, Khaziev was kidnapped from the village Djeiranbatan, 20 kilometers from the capital at around 03 am Baku time. The kidnappers beat the journalist, took away his two mobile phones and also took data from his laptop computer. The victim thinks that the attack is related to his professional activities and his critical publications towards authorities, also his active civil position.
“The authorities should take active measures in order to stop violence against journalists and provide them with the safe working environment. This is the key obligation of the authorities, however the Azerbaijani government is not fulfilling this requirement”, - the statement by Mijatovic says.

According Dunja Mijatovic, "the authorities should publicly condemn the kidnapping and investigate this and all previous crimes against journalists, including the murder of Elmar Huseynov, committed in 2005."

Azerbaijani Press Council chairman Aflatun Amashev appealed the Interior Ministry with a call in the morning of 26 March, asking to promptly investigate the abduction and beating of Khaziyev. "I sent a letter to Interior Minister Ramil Usubov, and had a conversation with the Chief of Police of Absheron district Namik Ismailov. The Ministry of Internal Affairs are interested in investigating the case because they believe that what happened is a threat to public safety", - Amashov said to reporters.
He believes that it would be good if journalists themselves will be allowed to be involved in the investigation of the incident. "I am ready to assist in the investigation," - said Amashov.
In the evening of March 28, the Minister of Internal Affairs of Azerbaijan, Ramil Usubov discussed the kidnapping and beating of Khaziyev with the representatives of the journalistic community – Amashov, the director of the Turan news agency - Mehman Aliyev and the head of the Media Rights Institute - Rashid Hajili.

Ramil Usubov said that he had instructed the relevant bodies of the police to conduct an investigation into the abduction and beating of the journalist. The investigation team also includes the representative of the Main Investigation Department of the MIA.

In addition, in consultation with the Prosecutor General, Zakir Garalov, the representative of this body is also delegated to the investigative group.
As the Minister stated, the law-enforcement bodies are interested in the serious investigation of this case considering that the corresponding “can be a case related to certain forces, interested in intensifying the public pressure,” – informs Turan.
In order to ensure the investigation transparency and inform the public, the investigation group will keep in touch with the initiative group of following individuals: Alfatun Amashev, Rashid Gajil and Mekhmal Aliev, confirmed the press service of MIA.

According to the victim Seimur Khaziev, he went through the medical examination in Baku #1 clinic. According to him, he received a medical inference which describes numerous injuries. The inference states that the right side of his breast suffered the most. Khaziev still experiences problems of breathing.

The journalist noted that at the hospital he stated that he fell.
“If the doctors had found out that I am a journalist who was kidnapped and beaten, they would not have treated me like it happened before in the cases of Bakhadin Khaziev, Idrakom Abasov, Eynulla Fatullaev, Fikret Guseinli, Emyn Guseinov and others. When the doctors see a beaten journalist, they forget about the Hippocratic oath,” – stated Khaziev and added that he does not believe in the “just investigation.”

For many years Khaziev has been a columnist in the newspaper “Azadliq.” In his publications he often criticized the government for problems of corruption, infringing democracy and human rights. As a member of the Party of National Front of Azerbaijan, Khaziev participated in the protest rallies of the opposition and was subjected to the administrative arrest numerous times.

Source Caucasian Knot

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