Reporters Without Borders
(RSF) has condemned a Baku court’s decision to order journalist Aqil Xalil
to attend the next hearing in the trial of a man accused of stabbing him
Khalil says the man has been falsely accused. He says the attack was carried out by two unidentified men.
In a statement, RSF says the judge’s decision "highlights how the authorities have refused to go after those who were really responsible for the knife attack against [Xalil]. They are ready to use any lie and the most despicable methods, including trying to smear him by turning the matter into a vice case. We reiterate our support for Xalil.”
Judge Shahin Abdullayev has issued an order for Xalil to attend the next hearing, scheduled for July 3, by force if necessary.
Xalil was beaten in late February by two men while attempting to photograph the destruction of a public olive grove, which was allegedly being cleared at the behest of a local businessman looking to use the land to build a private villa.
He was stabbed in the chest in mid-March, shortly after his photos were published.