Idrak Abbasov: Oil for the people or the people for oil?24.04.2012 | 13:14
We have already reported that in Azerbaijan, on-site of the protests of the population because of the demolition of their houses to meet the needs of the oil company SOCAR, the employees of the company have beaten a well-known Azerbaijani journalist Idrak Abbasov. Our correspondent visited Idrak in the hospital.
Azerbaijani journalist Idrak Abbasov is still in the hospital. On Friday, the X-ray showed that in addition to traumatic brain injury and an eye injury, he got rib fractures. It should be noted that the journalist was admitted to the hospital after having been beaten by security personnel of the SOCAR (the local oil company) on April 18 during a shooting the event in the village Sulutepe.
Idrak Abbasov, in spite of a serious condition, has agreed to give us an interview, which may partially clarify the situation surrounding the demolition of houses in the village Sulutepe.
Idrak, tell us how it began?
I live in this village, everyone knows me in our small village. And the people themselves call me when they have some problems. Even if they do not have electricity or gas, they call me. Apparently, ordinary people believe in the power of the fourth power. And in that day, April 18, my neighbors called me and said that employees of the SOCAR had come, that the guard had been set very seriously and had been going to "clean up" the space near the school, and, apparently, it was impossible to avoid the collision.
At that time I was far from the village, besides I had a personal business, I was with my brother and I promised that I would ask someone of my friends journalists to come there and shoot. But then I decided to go there myself. I left my car a little farther from the school, told brother not to go out and went to shoot. I had a smartphone. When I came, I saw that a strong bull - an employee of the SOCAR - held a stone in his hand trying to hit a guy. I started shooting. You know, they seemed to be waiting for me; they immediately came and took away my phone, took out a card. I demanded to return it, but someone hit me from behind, piled up me and started to beat. They kicked me with their feet at random. I was lying on the ground for half an hour like a soccer ball.
Do you remember who brought you to the hospital?
No, I do not remember. By the end of the beating I was unconscious. But I was later told that some of the inhabitants ran to my brother and said that Idrak was killed. My brother got me in the car and brought from there, and called to ambulance on the way. It brought me to the hospital. By the way, my other brother, who stood on my defense, is also in this clinic, two floors above, with broken ribs.
During our conversation, the family of the journalist, wife and three young children, came into the ward. They were allowed to meet with their father in the hospital for the first time. Idrak told us that recently a hefty 23-year-old boy beat his 6-year-old son.
I thought it was a pure chance and that this could happen to any other child. But despite our complaint to the police, this bastard is still free. And now I am sure that the beating of my son was ordered. Now, somebody calls me and my brother and threatens us.
Who was it?
I do not know the number was hidden. They say, you are troublemaker, what you are doing, why are you inciting the people? But the people call me themselves and ask to come, to shoot the lawlessness of the SOCAR employees. Let them check incoming and outcoming calls and find out who called to whom?
What do you think, what are you paying for?
I do not know, I'm doing my duty. I am a journalist, I'm doing my job. And my job is to objectively inform the people. Now I'm investigating the case of Khadija Ismail, who has recently been subjected to dirty blackmail. I started shooting in Sulutepe almost a year ago and I'm doing this till today. On the territory of the village there are houses of the "the powers that be", but they are untouchable. And the space, inhabited by the poor ordinary people, is being captured. Well, let's say there were really discovered deposits of oil; then they must build oil rigs instead of the destroyed houses, but what I see? They're building a branch of Moscow State University there. I asked them who was building. And what do you think? Heydar Aliyev Foundation is engaged in it.
A few days ago I called a press conference which was attended by the leading journalists. We discussed the "oil issue". One of the questions was why they were building houses for the rich men at the place of the demolished homes of ordinary people, not the oil rigs. This process started back in 2005-2006.