Idrak Abbasov, an Azeri journalist who confirmed the December 2005 destruction of the Djulfa cemetery in an Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) article in April 2006, has been harassed by the Azeri authorities in Nakhichevan and instructed to never visit the region.
Photo: Idrak Abbasov (via Radio Free Europe)
In the words of another Azeri journalist with IWPR:
An Azeri journalist said state security agents last week used the pretext of giving him an interview to detain, insult and abuse him.
Idrak Abbasov, a correspondent from the Zerkalo newspaper and an employee of the Institute for Reporters Freedom and Safety, IRFS, had traveled to the Nakhichevan region, which is separated from the rest of Azerbaijan by Armenian territory.
“Just as soon as I sat at the table, my hands were forced round and tied, they even closed my eyes. They took my phone, my camera and my documents. They took me to a room I didn’t know and started to ask about the reasons for my trip in a rude way, with insults and threats. I tried to explain that I had come to report. They told me that no journalist can come to Nakhichevan without the agreement of the local authorities.”
He said one officer asked him about connections with local journalists, then accused him of being a spy for Armenia. After two hours of interrogation, the MTN officers told him to get off the territory of Nakhichevan and never come back. He said the stress had made him feel ill, and he had been taken to hospital.