05 May 2017, 12:26

Azerbaijani journalist claims being prosecuted for reporting about protests

A case of disorderly conduct has been instituted against Ziya Asadli, a correspondent of the newspaper "Azadliq". Meanwhile, he himself appealed to the law enforcement agencies and filed a complaint about an attack on him. Ziya Asadli treats the criminal case instituted against him as a revenge of law enforcers for his report on protests of residents of the Neftchala District of Azerbaijan.

According to the journalist, the pressure on him began after his video report released on April 5 from a protest action held by residents of the village of Khirmandaly of the Neftchala District.

"It was a social protest. People complained about poverty, deprivation of social assistance, despite their low incomes, lack of medical care of appropriate quality, and unemployment. They did not put forward any political demands," stated Ziya Asadli.

According to him, on April 9, when he entered a local teahouse in the city of Bilasuvar, an administrator of the teahouse, a member of the ruling "Yeni Azerbaijan" Party, informed the journalist that the teahouse was owned by a local police officer who prohibited to let oppositionists to enter his teahouse.

"I stopped visiting that teahouse... They fear that I would share political news with visitors of the teahouse. At present, there are no opposition newspapers, only a small part of the population has access to the Internet, and for many people, teahouses became a source of information... However, on April 19, when I was passing by the teahouses and talking via a mobile phone, the administrator of the teahouse snatched my mobile phone, smashed it, and hit me several times," said Ziya Asadli.

Members of the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA) also claim of the recent increase in pressure on the oppositionists.

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

Author: Faik Medzhid; Source: CK correspondent

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