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February 20, 2014

VOA Journalist Attacked in Azerbaijan

by VOA News

A security official attacked a freelance journalist who works for VOA's Azerbaijan service Thursday as he covered a student demonstration in Baku.
 
The chief of the university security personnel tried to break Tapdig Farhadoglu's camera, hit him and kicked him in the leg in an attempt to try to get him stop recording the demonstration. Farhadoglu, who has reported for VOA for more than 10 years, later told his editors at VOA that his injuries were minor.
 
Farhadoglu was covering a demonstration by about 500 students at Baku State University who protested a new credit system. The students say the system is designed to get them pay more tuition fees to the university. They also denounced widespread graft and corruption at the university.
 
University security personnel attacked the demonstrators and detained about 12. The security forces also used physical intimidation to block other journalists covering the event.
 
VOA managers have expressed their concerns about Farhadoglu's treatment at the protest.