Journalist Aytaj Ahmadova detained and physically pressured

What else you can expect from such government?

On 3 October, Azerbaijani journalist Aytaj Ahmadova was detained while filming a protest in Zabrat, a settlement close to Baku.

A group of citizens had been protesting against their desolate living conditions, demanding that the government renovated their unsafe homes which are in danger of collapsing.

Ahmadova was covering the events when she was approached by police officers who insisted she had to stop filming immediately. When she refused to do so, she was forced into a car and taken to a police station in Baku’s Sabunchu district.

Ahmadova said that once at the police station, a plain-clothes officer called Habil slapped her in the face. “He spoke to me in a threatening and humiliating way. When he hit me, I yelled at him and they took me to their chief, Ismayil Mammadov. He spoke in a normal way.”

Ahmadova wrote an explanatory note describing what happened to her, although she was advised not to mention that she was beaten by a police officer. She also included that the police forced her to delete recordings she had made during the protest.

According to lawyer and media expert Elesger Mammadli, slapping Ahmadova in the face was a criminal act. He argues that the Minister of the Interior should dismiss both the police officer in question as well as the chief of the police station and launch criminal proceedings.


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