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Journalists allegedly threatened

(IRSF/IFEX) - An "Azadlig" newspaper employee, Aynur Elgunesh, has allegedly been threatened for her article entitled "Our Press Today", published in the paper on 21 July 2009. Elgunash informed IRFS of the alleged threat on 22 July. The journalist said that she criticised the activity of several organisations in the article, including the Gafgaz Media Public Union, which is chaired by Azade Taleh Abbasgizi.

"Azade Abbasgizi came to our editorial office to express her objection to the article. Then she called my mobile phone and insulted me, using inappropriate language and threatening me with murder," Elgunesh said, adding that she will appeal to law enforcement agencies if there is a reoccurrence of this type of incident.

Abbasgizi told IRFS that she visited the "Azadlig" newspaper's editorial office to express her objection and called the journalist. "But I did not say anything to threaten her," she said. Abbasgizi added that the article may have been written on somebody else's orders and said she will launch legal action regarding this.

In a seperate case, Matlab Dadashov, a correspondent and cartoonist for the regional "Janub Khabarlari" newspaper, has allegedly been subjected to threats and pressure due to the publication of his articles and caricatures. Dadashov informed IRFS of the alleged actions against him on 23 July.

According to Dadashov, the harassment stems from his article entitled "Why is the Good-Willed Person Silent?", published in the newspaper on 20 July. The article covers a story about alleged fraudulent activities disguised as "charity" committed by Valeh Mikayilov, an executive administration representative in the village of Kolatan, in the Masalli region.

Dadashov said he has already filed a complaint with the Masalli District Police Department regarding the pressure and threatening telephone calls he has received from Mikayilov. He added that, because of the location of his residence, his complaint was sent to the Boradigah Village Police Department. He emphasised that he is hopeful that appropriate measures will be taken regarding this issue.

Mikayilov denied the allegations against him and characterised them as slanderous and insulting. "I have never threatened him (. . .) I simply called him and wanted to see him. I wanted to talk about the libelous articles written about me," Mikayilov said.

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