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Azerbaijani Journalist Abused In Naxcivan Security Ministry

Idrak Abbasov in a Baku hospital bed
Idrak Abbasov in a Baku hospital bed
Journalist Idrak Abbasov is in a Baku hospital after being questioned at the National Security Ministry in Azerbaijan's Naxcivan exclave, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports.

Abbasov and his colleague from the Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety were on a fact-finding visit to Naxcivan to compile a human rights report on February 20.

Abbasov was invited to the ministry in response to his request for an interview. But his colleague was not allowed in and Abbasov said he was restrained and blindfolded when he entered.

His mobile phone, photo and video cameras were taken and then he was questioned.

Abbasov said he was then subjected to physical and psychological pressure. He said he told them he had heart problems and needed medicine, but they treated him "aggressively" before releasing him two hours later.

Azerbaijan's National Security Ministry and the branch in Naxcivan refused to comment.