Being a journalist in the land of Eternal Remont is a dangerous job. It's also prone to some dark irony.
This week, CPJ reports that Emin Huseynov, head of Azerbaijan's Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS), was arrested, beaten, and hospitalized after losing consciousness...in police custody.
Huseynov crime? Reporting on the 80th birthday Che Guevara, of course.
While in detention, the local cops didn't take kindly to Huseynov's jail house reporting, via cell phone, of his treatment. So Huseynov was taken to the 'special room,' after which he required hospitalization.
However, the entire affair is clearly a case of misunderstanding, since hospital officials report that Huseynov lost consciousness due to a rare condition called "hyperactive nerves." Apparently, this condition also caused Huseynov's concussion and has now made him incapable of walking unaided.
By the way, Freedom House reports that Azerbaijan has become one of the "worst performers" in Eastern Europe for press freedom, behind only Belarus and Russia.
All of this is well and good, but it still doesn’t explain why Aliyev's cops don't like Che Guevara. We can only assume it is his association with pot-smoking liberal arts majors – a known subversive demographic for nepotistic oil states.