It was a week of silence – no arrests, no detentions in Azerbaijan. On August 29, the silence was broken. Yet another journalist was arrested on trumped up charges.
Seymur Hazi, leading columnist at the opposition paper “Azadliq” [Freedom] and the anchor at the Turkey-based independent TV-channel “Azerbaycan Saati” [Azerbaijan Hour] was arrested for an alleged assault on an unidentified person. He is being charged with hooliganism.
Hazi’s lawyer, Elton Guliyev said his client is charged under the Article 221.3 – hooliganism committed with a weapon or an object used as a weapon] of the Criminal Code.
Earlier, Hazi was attacked and beaten by the same person the journalist is currently being charged with attacking. Hazi in his defense said the alleged attack was fabricated.
This is not the first time Hazi is targeted. In 2005 he was kidnapped and beaten. He was hanged by his feet for over two hours during his torture as he was told not to engage in any form of criticism of the ruling family.
Hazi continued his work following his release, perpetrators of which were never identified or found.
In 2009, in a case of “donkey bloggers” the two activists were charged in a similar manner – the two men were beaten, and yet were jailed for attacking those very men who committed the actual crime.