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Press release 07 January 2009 Baku, Azerbaijan

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Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety


07 January 2009

Baku, Azerbaijan

Tomorrow, 8 January, at noon, in the press center of the Institute for Reporters` Freedom and Safety, Human Rights Defense Committee for Baku and villages of Baku will conduct a press conference regarding 23 December 2009 municipality elections.
Media representatives are invited to the event.


Tomorrow, 8 January, at 1:00 p.m., in the press center of the Institute for Reporters` Freedom and Safety, Gobustan District Narimankand residents and their representative Mammad Hamidov will hold a press conference regarding land fields taken from them.

Media representatives and human rights defenders are invited to the event.

Yesterday, 6 January, lawyer Isakhan Ashurov visited Gundelik Azerbaijan and Realniy Azerbaijan Newspapers’ Editor-in-chief Eynulla Fatullayev who is being held in the Baku Investigative Prison. The Institute for Reporters` Freedom and Safety was told this by Fatullayev’s father Emin Fatullayev.
According to Emin Fatullayev, lawyer Isakhan Ashurov said that Eynulla Fatullayev did not complain about prison conditions. Father Fatullayev said that Eynulla called on Ombudsman Elmira Suleymanova and several international organizations including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch via his lawyer and stated that the accusation of possession of drugs against him is aimed to hinder his release.
Then Eynulla added that the employees of the Operation Department used psychical pressure against him when they took him to the solitary confinement cell. The torture ended after his lawyer came to prison on 30 December.
Parliament Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Monitoring Committee Co-rapporteur on Azerbaijan Andreas Herkel expressed his opinion regarding the new charges put forth against Eynulla Fatullayev. Herkel said that this incident looks suspicious and that he will unveil his real opinion during his visit to Azerbaijan.
Press Council Chairman Aflatun Amashov addressed an appeal to Internal Affairs Minister Ramil Usubov to conduct fair investigation into the criminal case against Eynulla Fatullayev.
On 29 December, 0.22 grams heroin was found on Fatullayev. Eynulla Fatullayev and his lawyer assess this incident as an operation set-up to prevent the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) regarding the journalist in the near future. Fatullayev was transferred to the Baku Investigative Prison #2 on 2 January.
Eynulla Fatullayev was sentenced to 2.5 years of imprisonment on 21 April 2007 for insulting honor and dignity. Later he was convicted under articles 214.1 (threatening terror), 283.2.2 (incitement of ethnic/national, social or religious hatred abusing authority), and 213.2.2 (tax evasion) of the Criminal Code and was sentenced to 8.5 years of imprisonment on 30 October 2007.

Realniy Azerbaijan has been published as weekly newspaper, and Gundelik Azerbaijan was published as a daily newspaper since 2005. Eynulla Fatullayev established the newspapers and was the editor-in-chief of both publications. The newspapers ceased their activity after the arrest of the editor-in-chief in 2007.

Today, 7 January, in the Sumgayit city Appellate Court, under the chairmanship of Judge Huseyin Nabiyev, a hearing was conducted on the appeal of Yeni Musavat newspaper column writer, Khalg newspaper’s former editor-in-chief Mahal (Sadigov) Ismayiloglu’s appeal against the verdict of the Absheron District Court.

Court Expert Jeyran Yusifova answered the parties` questions. Then injured party Najiba Safarova was listened to.

State Plaintiff Azer Abbasov demanded that the decision of the Absheron District Court be upheld. Defendant Mahal Ismayiloglu and his lawyer Elchin Sadigov said that the decision of the first instance court is unfair and demanded that the decision be annulled.

The judge scheduled the next hearing on this case for 8 December at noon to announce the decision.

On 27 June 2008, M. Ismayiloglu was called to a police department on the basis of a lawsuit filed against him by his neighbor Vahid Imanov’s servant. In the complaint it is alleged that the journalist beat his neighbor’s servant for dumping trash in his yard on 3 and 21 June 2008. Therefore a criminal case was instituted against M. Ismayiloglu under article 221.3 (hooliganism with use of a weapon or weapon-like item) of the Criminal Code. On 1 July 2009 the journalist was found guilty under articles 127 (intentional infliction of minor severe bodily harm), 128 (intentional infliction of minor bodily harm) and 221.3 (hooliganism with use of a weapon or weapon-like item) of the Criminal Code and was sentenced to two years conditional imprisonment. M.Ismayiloglu claims that he was slandered for his journalism work.

*When using this material please attribute it to the Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety.


Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety (IRFS)

Address: 8 R. Behbudov St., Apt. 85/86, Baku, Azerbaijan

Tel: (+99 412) 418-0334, E-mail:

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