Letter from Fekhreddin Hajibeyli, Azeri journalist beaten in Germany
March 22, 2011
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On 18 March Fekhreddin Hajibeyli, a journalist and political refugee from Azerbaijan living in Germany, was beaten in Berlin after a night of Novruz celebrations. He had to be taken to hospital; two of his ribs are broken. A letter he wrote to explain what took place was published on Facebook today. It reads as follows:
For the act of terror committed against me on 18 March at around 11 o’clock, I blame the Azerbaijani Embassy in Germany – specifically Fikrat Akhundov, First Secretary at the Embassy. Head of Azerbaijan House Tofig Garayev, Rovshan Grossman and others were simply used on this occasion.
At the time of the incident, [he] made a remark about an article of mine called “The Diaspora Chieftains” that was published in “Azadliq” newspaper a year ago, and [asked me] why I wrote it. I said that I wrote that article one year ago and that it was based on facts and my observations. It appears that the opposing side did not wish to clarify or get to the bottom of anything but rather to find an opportunity, an excuse to physically pressure me. I repeated that I wrote the article based on my observations, but T. Garayev insulted me and threw a punch at me. More than ten people came up behind him and started towards me. I don’t recollect what happened next as the blows I received to my face after I fell to the ground left me unconscious. I was left lying on the floor; I heard someone shout “He’s dead, he’s dead,” – only after this did they leave me alone. They wanted to kill me: while they were beating me they were saying, “Beat him to death!” and only left when I was lying on the ground totally unconscious – they took me for dead. The fact that one of them said “He’s dead” and that they left me after this proves this.
By doing this those who planned it, to be specific the Azerbaijani government, show that even in Europe … (cut off)
To subject a journalist to violence in the European capital for an article he wrote simply demonstrates the way journalists are treated in Azerbaijan, where police and the court system are an instrument in the government’s politics and where supreme values are nonexistent. It is not hard to imagine this.
Those who think that such incidents will scare us and force us to stop pursuing this road are mistaken; such attempts at terror just show the real face of those who are behind these acts.
Thanks to F. Makhmud for the photos.