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Journalist's vehicle set on fire, possibly in retaliation for critical reports

(IRFS/IFEX) - On the night of 24 April 2008, a vehicle belonging to military affairs journalist Uzeyir Jafarov was set on fire. Jafarov, who used to work for the now shuttered "Gundalik Azerbayjan" newspaper, informed IRFS about the incident, saying "it occurred in the yard of the building I live in, in Baku's micro-district #6. They lit a glass container filled with petrol under my vehicle's petrol tank." According to the journalist, the assailants' intent was to cause an explosion. However, by some luck the fire went out and an explosion was prevented. Nevertheless, the vehicle did sustain damages. The right rear tire and wheel well were burnt and the brake system is completely ruined.

On the morning of 25 April, Jafarov appealed to the police and a group of officers from the Binegedi District Police Department #7 came to the scene. They, in turn, invited fire experts from the Ministry for Emergency Situations who assessed the damage to the car, before it was sent for repairs.

Jafarov believes the incident is connected to his work as a journalist. "Three days ago I gave a statement about a military prisoner. I said generals are inattentive; they don't know when soldiers are taken prisoner. In addition to this, I write a column in '24 Saat' newspaper. I give statements to opposition newspapers. I am a journalist, and I only have this profession. I don't have any hostilities, any adversarial relations with anyone. Therefore, I believe that this is the latest provocation related to my work as a journalist. They try to silence me, and make me afraid. However this is pointless. I expect anything."

For further information on previous attacks on Jafarov, see:
http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/90394
http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/83739
http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/82796

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