Institute for Democracy in Eastern Europe

What is IDEE?

Programs

Publications

Links

Photogallery

Contact Us

How You Can Help

Home


PRESS RELEASE

15   October   2009

Baku, Azerbaijan

ANNOUNCEMENT

THREE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS SEND LETTER TO ILHAM ALIYEV DUE TO JAILING OF JOURNALISTS FOR DEFAMATION

TURNING 18,   MUKHALIFET NEWSPAPER WILL RESTORE ITS PUBLICATION

HEARING CONDUCTED ON LAWSUIT OF NOVRUZALI MAMMADOV`S FAMILY

NOVRUZL DOVUN QALDIRDI

ANNOUNCEMENT

Tomorrow, 16 October, at 1:00 p.m. in the press center of the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety,   Editor-in-chiefs from   Milli Yol Newspaper and Poligon Information Agency Shahin Agabeyli will conduct a press conference regarding the creation of a new organization to defend journalists in Azerbaijan

Journalists, human rights defenders and representatives of diplomatic corps are invited to attend.

THREE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS SEND LETTER TO ILHAM ALIYEV DUE TO JAILING OF JOURNALISTS FOR DEFAMATION

The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), the  

World Editors Forum and the International Association of Sports Newspapers have protested to Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev against the jailing of two journalists for defamation after his administration promised that measures were being taken to decriminalize the offense.  

<>  We are astonished that two journalists have been jailed for defamation only two weeks after an official in your administration, Ali Hasanov, assured a WAN-IFRA delegation that serious measures were being taken to improve the situation of the independent press, the three organisations said in a letter to President Aliyev..   

A delegation from WAN-IFRA visited Azerbaijan in late September to assess the press freedom situation and called on the government to introduce drastic reforms to create full media freedom.  

On 8 October, the Baku Court of Appeals upheld the sentencing of Sardar  

Alibeili, editor-in-chief of the weekly Nota, and reporter Faramaz  

Novruzoglu, to three months in jail, and the conditional sentencing of  

journalist Ramiz Tagiyev to six months of corrective labor, for defamation.  

On 9 October, on the basis of an appeal adopted on the special lawsuit of several employees of the Internal Army against the decision of the Nizami District Court, Sardar Alibeyli was sentenced to total four months imprisonment in addition to the previous sentence against him.

On 7 October the Nasimi District court issued a verdict against FANAT.AZ sports website project head Zahir Azamat and website‘s sports writer Natig Mukhtarli on   Khazar-Lankaran Football Club President Mais Masimov’s lawsuit. According to the verdict, Natig Mukhtarli was sentenced to one year and Zahir Azamat to six months of corrective labor. The journalists have to pay 20 % of their salaries to Mais Masimov .

TURNING 18, MUKHALIFET NEWSPAPER WILL RESTORE ITS PUBLICATION

Today, 15 October,   Mukhalifet newspaper turns 18.   Rovshen Kabirli, editor-in-chief of the newspaper, said that the illegal arrest of him and of one of the leading employees of the newspaper Yashar Agazade in 2007 affected the newspaper’s activity negatively. Due to financial difficulties, the newspaper ceased its publication in 2007.

  After we were released we restored the newspaper’s publication through our own resources, said R.Kabirli.   But the eight month interval while we were in prison destroyed the material base of the newspaper. Our ceased relations with the broadcasting firms and readers made the publication of the newspaper impossible. Finally, we had to suspend our work temporarily because of the debt to the publishing house, aid Kabirli, adding that the debt to the   Azerbaijan newspaper where   Mukhalifet newspaper published was already given back; and the newspaper is going to restore its publication from starting in the beginning of November.

Mukhalifat Newspaper Editor-in-Chief Rovshan Kabirli was arrested on16 May 2007 due to a lawsuit filed against them by J. Aliyev. They were released on 28 December 2007 on the basis of a pardon decree.

HEARING CONDUCTED ON LAWSUIT OF NOVRUZALI MAMMADOV`S FAMILY

Today, 15 October, in the Nasimi District Court, under the chairmanship of Judge Ikram Shirinov, a hearing was conducted on the lawsuit of   Tolishi Sado €� Newspaper Editor-in-chief N.Mammadov`s wife Maryam Mammadova and son Emil Mammadov against the Ministry of Finance, the Justice Ministry’s Penitentiary Services, Chief Medical Office of the Justice Ministry, Prison #15 and the Penitentiary Service’s Treatment Facility regarding the journalist’s death.

The plaintiffs’ representative Ramiz Mammadov said that Novruzali Mammadov’s right to live was violated by law enforcement organs, and this was because he promoted the Talysh language and culture. R.Mammadov noted that their repeated appeals to transfer N.Mammadov to the treatment facility while he was held in prison remained unanswered. Besides, the information inquiries regarding the diagnosis of N.Mammadov’s illnesses were not responded to.

The Justice Ministry Penitentiary Services Representative Elshan Hasanov stated that what R.Mammadov said is unfounded. Hasanov added that N.Mammadov refused to be transferred to the treatment facility.

  When a check-up was conducted into the conditions in which he was held, it was found out that his claim that the prison conditions were bad was unfounded, said E.Hasanov.

The hearing on this case was scheduled to continue at 4:00 p.m. on 16 October since the work day was over.           

  Tolishi Sado Newspaper Editor-in-chief N.Mammadov died in the Justice Ministry’s Penitentiary Services’ Central Hospital on 17 August 2009. Mammadov was transferred to the Justice Ministry’s Penitentiary Services Central Hospital on 28 July 2009 after his health worsened. His relatives claim that he did not receive necessary treatment and as a result he died.   In 2007, during a closed hearing, N.Mammadov was sentenced to ten year imprisonment under article 274 (treason) of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan Republic. However, N.Mammadov, who had Talysh nationality, did not consider himself guilty and claimed that his arrest was related to ethnic-political motives and freedom of speech.


 What is Idee? | Programs | Publications | Photogallery | Useful Links | Contact|Home

IDEE
1718 M Street,  NW,  No. 147, Washington,  D.C.  20036
 Tel: (202) 466-7105  · E-mail: idee@idee.org