Journalist Attacked While Filming (Updated)

Aytaj Ahmadova: “There were police present, but they didn’t intervene.”

Aytaj Ahmedova
Aytaj Ahmedova

On August 2, independent journalist Aytaj Ahmadova was assaulted by an unknown person while filming a protest by the IDPs living near Salt Lake in Baku’s Surakhani District.

Ahmadova told Meydan TV, ‘A group of IDPs were protesting against the illegal demolition of their commercial property. They named Novruz Mammadov as the owner of the buildings. While I was standing there, a man in civilian clothes approached me and snatched my phone. I ran after him, but couldn’t get it back, and he jumped into a car and fled. Twenty minutes later, a representative of Surakhani District Executive Authority returned my phone to me.’

According to her, about half an hour later at 10:10am there was a fight between the representatives of the local authorities and IDPs: ‘[The authorities] were using violence against the protestors, and I was filming. Suddenly the same man approached me and stole the camera, tripod, got in the car, and fled again.’ Ahmadova recorded the make and model of the car (VAZ 2107), and the license plate (99LX720).

She told Meydan TV that there were police present, but they did not intervene.

Aytaj Ahmadova contributes as a freelance journalist to

, and she presented her press card during the incident. ‘However, representatives of Surakhani District Executive Authority did not allow filming; they stole my camera and the tripod as well. I will appeal to the police and other relevant bodies. There is also a photo of the person who stole the equipment. I hope the police will investigate this properly and return my belongings.’

The general department of Surakhani District Police Office told Meydan TV that they were unaware of the incident:

‘We haven’t heard about the demolition, nor the stolen equipment. This was not done by the police employees. Probably it was a thief. We’ll find out.’

Later on, the Director of the Economic Department of Surakhani District Executive Authority, Mehman Huseynov, stated that Ahmadova’s equipment will be returned to her: ‘We have been in contact with the person who stole the equipment. Tomorrow the journalist can collect it from police.’ According to Huseynov, this person is not an employee of the Surakhani District Executive Authority.

Update: Executive Authority promises to return camera, denies responsibility

Mehman Huseynov of the Surakhani District Executive Authority told Meydan TV that he was at the scene and that the equipment belonging to the journalist would be returned.

‘We have contacted a person who missed the camera and the tripod. Those equipment will be handed over to Surakhani District Police Office. The journalist can get out of the police tomorrow and get it.’

According to Mehman Huseynov, the person who committed the incident is not an employee of the Executive Authority:

‘He is one of those engaged in trade in the area. It has nothing to do with us.’

Update: Camera returned without memory card

At 5 p.m. Aytaj Ahmadova except the memory card of the camera got back the equipment. According to her, she also couldn’t get any information about the thief from Surakhani District Executive Authority.

ГлавнаяNewsJournalist Attacked While Filming (Updated)