Towards 7 PM on Saturday, a contingent of 20 police officers arrived on the premises of Qanun publishing house, claiming to have had received information pertaining to the location of a bomb within the organization’s offices and began to search the property.
Qanun publishing house director, Shahbas Khuduoglu, told Turan News Agency that the entire building was cordoned off by police.
Because the search took place on Saturday, no representatives or employees of the organization were present at the office with the exception of the security guard. However, this individual was not allowed out of the building, to which Khuduoglu points as proof of the false pretext for the search.
“If they were looking for a bomb, then they would have escorted all civilians from the building. There were no bomb squad specialists on scene with the police. If they “find” any “weapons”, or some other illegal materials, the Baku police will surely have played a hand in its appearance on our property.” said Khuduoglu, who was not in Baku at the time.
In October of 2013, a similar unwarranted search was conducted by tax authorities. It is speculated that this was in connection with the organization’s involvement in printing posters for the then opposition presidential candidate, Jamil Hasanli. This affair ended with a heavy fine being levied against the publishing house by the district judge.
Khuduoglu says that the publishing house no longer publishes a newspaper, only books. Khuduoglu is the brother of the leader of the Civic Solidarity Party and former parliament member, Sabir Rustamkhanli.
Another of his brothers, Alovsat Aliyev, is currently in political exile.