Washington: Strongly condemning beating of a Azerbaijani journalist and human rights activist, the US has called for bringing to justice those who were responsible for the crime.
"We condemn the August 21 beating in Nakhchivan City, Azerbaijan of noted civil society activist Ilgar Nasibov, Director of the NGO Democracy Support Center, who is currently hospitalised in grave condition. Nasibov has been a well-respected civil society activist and human rights defender for more than ten years," State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said.
"We understand that in this case the police responded immediately and the prosecutor's office has initiated an investigation. We support a swift, full and transparent investigation and prompt disclosure of whether criminal charges will be brought against the perpetrators," she said.
She said those responsible should be brought to justice, and call on the Azerbaijani government to take immediate steps to protect fundamental freedoms of expression, assembly, and association.
Nasibov was badly beaten by unknown assailants on August 21 while he was in the office of the Naxcivan Resource Center, the only independent rights organisation operating in the province.
He was found unconscious, suffered severe head trauma, a broken nose, fractured ribs and serious blood loss.