NIPA Demands Investigation into Beating of Journalist

April 20th, 2012   Azerbaijan | News | Theme: Democracy for Azerbaijan (sticky)

On April18, 2012, Azerbaijani journalist Idrak Abbasov was severely beaten by guards from Azerbaijan’s state oil company when he tried to film the demolition of houses by company employees in the village Sulutapa. The demolition seems, as numerous buildings in Azerbaijan, to have been expropriated to make way for new government projects. A number of international journalist organizations, such as Reporters without Borders and PEN, have protested against the National Independence Party of Azerbaijan (NIPA) of the democratic opposition. NIPA is the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation’s cooperation partner in Azerbaijan.

New York Times reported that “the police on Thursday released a statement saying that seven employees of the oil company were “demolishing illegal houses” on the company’s property in the village of Sulutepe, when they were attacked by a crowd of 200-250 local residents and left with injuries. Also injured were “two residents of the settlement,” one of them Mr. Abbasov, said the police statement, carried by the APA news service.

National Independence Party of Azerbaijan said in a press release on April 20, that officers from SOCAR (State Oil Company of Azerbaijan) used “physical violence against journalists fulfilling their duties”, adding that despite the fact that several police officers were present they didn’t prevent the incident. “In spite of the number of such treatments, deaths and beatings, as well as blackmailing of journalists in Azerbaijan, there are so far not sufficient measures taken to punish the offenders”.

NIPA declared that tyranny and criminal methods used by the regime has “put the country’s future under threat and may cause acute discord”. The party states that the authorities must investigate this case.

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