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Journalist injured during protest, camera confiscated, broken

(IRFS/IFEX) - On 7 January 2009 "Yeni Musavat" newspaper correspondent Afgan Mukhtarli faced pressure when police dispersed a group of religious people who had gathered in front of the Israeli Embassy to Azerbaijan to protest the incidents in Gaza. According to Mukhitarli, the protest, which was conducted without permission from Baku City Executive Power, was dispersed by the Yasamal District Police Department. Police used force against the media representatives and other participants.

"Although I had a special vest (distributed to editorial offices by Press Council) on me and my "Yeni Musavat" journalist card on my vest, police distanced me from the area using pressure," said Mukhtarli, adding that his left hand and right leg were injured as a result of police pressure. His photo camera was taken by police, and then was returned to him after it was broken. Mukhtarli appealed to law enforcement officials to have a medical examination. He has already reported the incident to the Internal Ministry and the Chief Prosecutor's Office.

Internal Ministry Public Relations Department employee Ehsan Zahidov told IRFS that the ministry has not received any information regarding the incident yet. "If an appeal has been addressed to us, it will be investigated and applicable measures will be taken," said Zahidov.

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