19 March 2012


Four journalists arrested over Quba riots

No topical categories found. Please add incident details and/or Categories

Incident details


Vugar Gonagov, Academic
Zaur Guliyev, Academic
Zaur Mustafayev, Media worker
Jamil Mammadli, Journalist

This is available in:

English Français
UPDATE: Khayal TV correspondents' pre-trial detention extended (IRFS, 13 September 2012)

(RSF/IFEX) - 16.03.2012 - Reporters Without Borders deplores the arrests on 13 March of three employees of the television station Khayal TV — the executive director, Vugar Gonagov, the editor, Zaur Guliyev, and Zaur Mustafayev, the head of public relations — as well as Jamil Mammadli, a reporter with the Polygon news agency. All are accused of being implicated in the riots in the northern town of Quba in early March.

“These arrests highlight the predicament the authorities find themselves in over the disturbances in Quba,” Reporters Without Borders said.

“Despite the dismissal of the head of the local government the day after the uprising, they persist in their search for the source of the video recording of his inflammatory remarks. Confidentiality of sources must be respected and those who work in the media must not be made scapegoats.

“These arrests have no legal foundation and we demand that the journalists be released as soon as possible.”

The four journalists were arrested in Quba, then taken to the capital, Baku, where they are being held in custody. According to information gathered by Reporters Without Borders, they have yet to be charged. Mammadli's home was reported to have been searched.

The arrests took place two weeks after a popular uprising broke out in Quba on 1 March. Thousands of demonstrators gathered to demand the resignation of the local government head Rauf Habibov, after a video was posted on YouTube showing him making derogatory remarks about residents at a team meeting.

Clashes broke out as the protesters were being dispersed, during which several journalists were beaten up. Rashad Aliyev, a video cameraman with the local NGO Institute of Freedom and Safety of Reporters, was hit on the head several times.


Putting free expression issues in perspective.

Sign up to receive IFEX In Context.

Take Action!

Ahmed Mansoor remains on hunger strike in poor conditions as eyesight deteriorates

  • Take action to help save the life of imprisoned human rights defender and blogger Ahmed Mansoor

More from Azerbaijan
  • Freedom on the Net 2017: Azerbaijan

    Azerbaijani human rights defenders were targeted in a spearphishing campaign, in attempts to install malware on their devices and track their online activity

  • Freedom of the Press 2017: Azerbaijan

    The parliament tightened legal restrictions on media freedom, broadening the scope of existing criminal defamation legislation in November and amending martial law in December to expand permissible information controls.

  • Freedom of the Press 2016: Azerbaijan

    Rasim Aliyev, an independent reporter and acting chair of the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS), died in August after being severely beaten; it remained unclear at year’s end whether the assailants’ motive was connected to Aliyev’s journalistic work.

At this point, would publish: "Home page"
At this point, would publish: "Ensure detained journalists access to lawyer, family, says Human Rights Watch"
At this point, would publish: "Journalist says he was tortured in prison"
IFEX is a global network of committed organisations working to defend and promote free expression.
Permission is granted for material on this website to be reproduced or republished in whole or in part provided the source member and/or IFEX is cited with a link to the original item.