Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Azerbaijani media plays “gay” sequel

Popular Queerty blog comments on what it calls "Azerbaijani media plays “gay” sequel":

The post-Soviet nation grabbed a surprisingly few headlines last month after (allegedly) trying to discredit journalist Agil Khalil by claiming he’s a gay. [...]

Now the same tricks are being pulled on Ali Karimli, leader of opposition party Popular Front of Azerbaijan… [...]

Planting a gay seed in an oppositional land rife with homophobic sentiment? Works every time!

Read original reports:

Azerbaijan: State Media Embroiled In Gay Bashing Controversy

Azerbaijan: Opposition Journalist Says He Is Victim Of Vicious Smear Campaign


Anonymous said...

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artmika said...

Reporters Without Borders
9 May 2008

Another attempt to murder opposition journalist Agil Khalil

Reporters Without Borders condemns two physical attacks on reporter Agil Khalil of the opposition daily Azadlig on 7 May. Someone tried to push him under an underground train, then two men grabbed him near the newspaper’s office. This was the third time he has been the target of violence since late February.

“These repeated attacks on Khalil are unacceptable,” the press freedom organisation said. “His assailants are clearly trying to use physical elimination to silence him. The authorities should react and put a stop to this violence, so that he can do his job as a journalist in complete safety.”

Khalil said that, when he left his home to go to Azadlig, he was followed by a young man who appeared to be using his phone to report the route Khalil took. At the “28 May” underground railway station, someone pushed him as a train was approaching, but he managed to avoid falling off the platform.

He told Reporters Without Borders that, when he left the newspaper’s headquarters later the same day, two men grabbed his arms and twisted them but he managed to break loose and get away. He said he thought they were trying to kidnap him.

Khalil said he has told the authorities several times that he has been followed and threatened but they have not reacted. “It is clear that the prosecutor’s office and the national security ministry are protecting their employees and are going to continue harassing me,” he said.

National security ministry officials attacked him on 22 February when they spotted him photographing them in the course of an illegal land transaction. After his photos were published, he was stabbed in the chest on 13 March and had to undergo an operation. A few days later, investigators began pressuring him to accuse fellow journalists of the stabbing and to say the attacks were linked to his homosexuality.

artmika said...

Reporters Without Boarders
15 May 2008

President Aliyev asked to put a stop to violence against newspaper reporter

Reporters Without Borders wrote today to President Ilham Aliyev voicing deep concern about a series of physical attacks on journalist Agil Khalil of the daily newspaper Azadlig since 22 February, asking him to intervene to put a stop to them “before they end in tragedy.”

Khalil was attacked and beaten by several men employed by the national security ministry on 22 February. He was stabbed as he was returning home on 13 March. Someone tried to push him in front of an underground train on 7 May. And he has been the target of attempts to discredit and intimidate him.

The letter also voiced concern about an order forbidding Khalil from leaving the country and an official warning yesterday that, if he did not respond of his own accord to summonses for questioning by the police, he would be made to do so by force.

It is hard to understand why Khalil, the victim of several serious physical attacks, is being treated as “a public enemy,” the letter said.

Referring to the “shocking” murder of journalist Elmar Husseynov in 2005, Reporters Without Borders said it feared Khalil could be the next journalist to meet a tragic end. “If this were to happen, we would hold the Azerbaijani authorities responsible,” the organisation wrote.

The letter concluded by urging President Aliyev to use his prerogatives “to ensure that the harassment of Khalil is stopped and his security is no longer threatened” and that the national security ministry employees involved in the 22 February attack are “the subject of a criminal investigation and are suspended for as long as the investigation continues.”

artmika said...

European media watchdog calls Baku trial 'fake' aimed at discrediting opposition journalist with homophobic sentiment and protecting real attackers