Azerbaijan Expels Russian Journalist


Aug 13 2007

BAKU, AUGUST 13, ARMENPRESS: Azerbaijani authorities have expelled a
Russian journalist working for Russian Rosbalt news agency. Russian
Interfax news agency quoted Azeri officials as saying that Yana
Amelina’s expulsion, however, was not ‘official."

Interfax said its sources refused to divulge, saying only that Yana
Amelina had spent 6 days in Azerbaijan, was arrested in the southern
Lenkoran and was flown to Baku.

"Before arriving in Azerbaijan the Russian journalist was in Armenia
and visisted the occupied and Armenian-controlled Azerbaijani regions,"
Interfax’s source said.

In Lenkoran the Russian journalist was supposed to study the problems
of the local Talysh people, who make the majority of population
in Azerbaijan’s southeastern parts. This, according to Interfax,
prompted officials in Baku to conclude that the Russian journalist
has an ‘anti-Azerbaijani" stance.

Talysh people represent the indigenous Iranian population of
Azerbaijan that distinguishes itself from the majority of inhabitants
of Azerbaijan who say they are of Turkic origin. The Talysh are
concentrated in the southeast of Azerbaijan near the border with Iran.

Because of the discriminative policy of Baku the majority of them
either have lost national consciousness, or are afraid to recognize
themselves openly as Talysh.

In the summer of 1993, amid a political destabilization, leaders of
Talysh national movement declared the establishment of the Talysh
Republic, but it existed for only two months and was suppressed by
Azeri power and security structures.

Ex-president of Talysh Republic Alikram Gummatov is still in
prison. Majority of the other national leaders, who managed to
flee, settled down in Russia, because the Talysh movement was
Russian-oriented from the beginning of the last century. However,
receiving no support from Moscow in 1993, a number of activists of
Talysh movement have changed their orientation towards Iran.
From: Baghdasarian