On Ability to Be Grateful - 2

The accusations against those who imprisoned Mehman Aliyev have a little distracted attention from how our journalistic brethren reacted to the arrest of Mehman and the pressure on the agency Turan.

I must say that, unlike international structures, the reaction of local colleagues was rather sluggish. It's very strange to see how some editors pretend that nothing has happened. They did not consider it necessary not only to come to Turan and express their support, but even call Mehman"s colleagues or his family.

But there were times when Mehman together with others accompanied these people from home to work to prevent their arrest. He visited several others in hospitals after severe beatings and gave them material aid. He defended some of these people in courts and state bodies, when they were forbidden to sell newspapers on the streets.

Where are these editors today? Having settled in the bosom of one or another oligarch, they keep quiet.

But it would be unfair to blame everyone. From the first moment, Khadija Ismayilova, Avaz Zeynalli, human rights activists, the leadership of the Union of Journalists, Yeni Nesil, and colleagues in exile expressed their solidarity. Eynulla Fatullayev, who made certain efforts, pleasantly surprised us, although he overdid it a bit. The Press Council limited itself to a rather mild statement and fell silent. The same can be said about the head of the Press Council A. Amashov.

In this entire situation, the most important symptom was that the absolute majority got used to the idea that it"s better to remain silent and not to show initiative. As it turned out, as soon as Mehman was "neutralized", something like a vacuum appeared in the journalistic environment. There was no one to manage. As we remember, Vladimir Vysotsky sang: "There are not enough really riotous men, so there are no leaders."

Such "sterilization" of the journalistic environment is evidence of a qualitatively new situation in this area. Feelings of duty and professional solidarity are almost forgotten, the survival factor has come to the fore, and this is already considered a manifestation of "professionalism."

I will not be surprised when these same editors are the first to hasten to congratulate Mehman after his release, publish extensive interviews and be photographed with Mehman. Some MPs will argue that they raised their voice in his defense, although today these people ignore our requests and do not answer calls.

The most interesting in this whole story will be the reaction of Mehman himself, who will simply wave his hand, saying something like this: "Old man, all this is nonsense, forget it."

The lack of a sense of anger and vengefulness has always distinguished him. In many ways, thanks to this, he was and is an acceptable figure for all.

It"s deplorable to realize that he is always ready to play the role of Danko (a known literary image created by the famous Russian writer A.M. Gorky), without billing those who betray him and try to use him.

Well, this is Mehman Aliyev, and those are all the rest.

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