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August 24, 2011
Criminal Case Against Journalist Goes To Court
Criminal Case Against Journalist Goes To Court

The Sharur district prosecutor’s office has completed its investigation in the criminal case against Hakimeldostu Mehdiyev on charges of stealing electricity (Article 189-1.1). Mehdiyev is a regional correspondent with the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS). On Monday, he was presented the indictment. “Prosecutor Kamil Shukurov asked me to “indemnify” the AZN 1050.18 to cause the criminal case to be stopped. I refused because I did not steal any electricity,” Mehdiyev told Turan. A copy of the indictment has not been given to either him or his lawyer Asabali Mustafayev, who arrived from Baku.

“All testimonies are written in the same way, like a template. Moreover, the witnesses are the local leaders - the head of a municipality, a representative of the executive power, the head of the electricity grid’s sale department, the deputy executive of the area, and even the local akhund (mullah),” Mehdiyev said. On July 15 the local authorities stopped the supply of electricity to Mehdiyev’s house in the Jalilkend village of the Sharur district under the pretext of its illegal use. However, all the electricity used has been paid for, and Mehdiyev has the proof. However, the family has lived without electricity for 24 days. ”Now we’ve been given light, but the voltage is very low and it is not enough even to turn the pump in the well,” Mehdiyev said. 

The pressure on Mehdiyev started in early July after he accompanied a columnist from Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Michael Ludwig, on his trip to Nakhchivan despite attempts by the local authorities to prevent the visit.


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