Azerbaijani Journalist Says He Was Attacked in Kyiv, His Lawyer Denies It
7 March, 2018

An opposition journalist from Azerbaijan who is on an Interpol warrant on the vague charges of fraud and illegal border crossing, claims he’s been assaulted inside his flat in Kyiv.

According to Fikret Huseynli, the four men who entered his apartment on the evening of March 5 hit him in the stomach and broke three of his teeth. 

READ MORE: Azerbaijani Opposition Journalist Arrested in Kyiv on Interpol Warrant

In a shocking account of the events, Huseynli says that the men introduced themselves as law enforcers saying that they are looking for the journalist on an Interpol warrant. Responding to the unexpected visit, Huseynli called the owner of the flat. Once the owner arrived, Huseynli opened the door letting the four men in too. It is only after the flat owner intervened, Huseynli says, that the men agreed to leave the flat adding that they’ll be “waiting in the car.”

Huseynli reportedly only managed to escape the attackers by jumping out of a window. The next day, on March 6, the journalist told the Dutch embassy (Huseynli holds Dutch citizenship) about this incident.

READ MORE: Is Interpol Silencing The Independent Press?

Huseynli says Ukraine’s and Azerbaijan’s law enforcement bodies “play the same game” and that Ukraine has probably already approved his extradition.

“I no longer have any trust in Ukrainian law enforcement bodies, I only trust the European ones. I need help,” he told Hromadske.

Huseynli is currently staying at his friends’ flat. He says he has no money and is afraid to leave his house.

Dmytro Mazurok, Husseynli’s lawyer, said that he knows nothing of the incident and the supposed attack.

“Nothing happened, there is nothing to prove that it has,” Mazurok told Hromadske, “He’s home, everything is fine. He just wants to dramatize things.”

Ukrainian border guards detained Huseynli at Kyiv’s Boryspil airport on October 14 on an Interpol warrant. On October 17, a Kyiv court ruled to hold the Azerbaijani journalist in custody for 18 days.  On October 27 he was released on bail thanks to Ukrainian MP Mykola Knyazhitskiy and Borys Zakharov, director of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union’s Advocacy Center, who have agreed to take responsibility for him.

Huseynli and rights defenders believe that the Azerbaijani government is pursuing the journalist for his oppositional views and political activism.  

READ MORE: Ukrainian Court Releases Azerbaijani Opposition Journalist

/By Maria Romanenko