Azeri Reporter ImprisonedPosted Oct 20 2007
Local police and Ministry of National Security employees arrested Hakim Eldostu Mehdiyev, a correspondent for Yeni Musavat, a Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic newspaper on Sept. 23, from his home in the Jalilkand village in the Sharur region of the autonomous republic.
A few hours after his arrest, Mehdiyev called his brother, Nariman, and told him that he was being taken to court to be sentenced for 15 days for resisting police. He added that he was not given the opportunity to have a lawyer and was going to begin a hunger strike.
Mehdiyev also said that employees of the National Security Ministry had abducted him by car and taken him to an unknown location the day before. At the location he was beaten and insulted by the ministry’s chief, telling him, “Who do you think you are, writing about the region’s gas and electricity problems?”
Mehdiyev is known for stories on the social problems in the Sharur region and was told that if he reported the kidnapping/beating he would be incarcerated. Mehdiyev reported the beating and said that he would have the injuries officially documented Monday Sept. 24, since weekends are not workdays. The arrest was carried through to prevent the documentation.
After the arrest, ministry employees also shut down and destroyed Nariman’s teahouse and their family store because, they say, it was a place for villagers to talk politics. The family also stated that they were being held under constant surveillance.
On Sept. 27 at 1 p.m. Mehdiyev was released, however, he said that while he was imprisoned he was beaten and tortured. Prison officials at the Boyuk Duz had not allowed visitors during his incarceration.
Mehdiyev finally received medical treatment Oct. 1, under a different identity, as doctors were afraid of treating him. They determined that Mehdiyev suffered a broken rib and a severely bruised rib on his left side.