Afrique Ameriques Asie Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
Azerbaijan21 March 2005

Rauf Arifoglu finally released

Reporters Without Borders welcomed the release of journalist and opposition leader Rauf Arifoglu after 18 months in prison. He was among 114 prisoners whose pardon by President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev was announced on 20 March 2005.

Arifoglu, editor of opposition daily Yeni Musavat and vice-president of the opposition party Musavat, was among 53 "political prisoners" who appeared on a list produced by the Council of Europe last week.

"One can only celebrate the fact that there are no longer any journalists imprisoned in Azerbaijan", the worldwide press freedom organisation said. But it said, "The Council of Europe should continue to apply pressure on the Azeri authorities to achieve a lasting improvement in press freedom.

"The murder of Elmar Husseynov, editor of the opposition weekly Monitor, on 2 March 2005, has still not been solved," it added.

Arifoglu, who was accused of organising riots that shook the country following contested presidential elections on 15 October 2003, was arrested on 27 October 2003 and held since in Bailov Prison in the capital Baku. He began a hunger strike on 9 February 2004 in protest at his imprisonment but called it off ten days later for medical reasons.

Reporters Without Borders had urged the authorities to free Arifoglu during a visit to Baku in December 2003.

The Council of Europe on 17 March called on President Aliyev to pardon Azeri political prisoners, saying legislative elections in November 2005 would only be free and fair if opposition leaders were released.

  In this country
28 May - Azerbaijan
Court breaks law by refusing to release journalist on health grounds
9 April - Azerbaijan
Mirza Sakit Zahidov finally released
2 March - Azerbaijan
Four years after editor’s murder, investigators have achieved nothing
6 February - Azerbaijan
Court rejects early release for jailed newspaper reporter
22 January - Azerbaijan
Four journalists threatened and expelled from Nakhchivan for trying to investigate disappearance of mother and son

in the annual report
Azerbaijan - Annual Report 2008
Azerbaijan - Annual report 2007
Azerbaijan - 2006 Annual report

Europe press releases
4 June - Kosovo
Rrokum TV station still excluded by national broadcasting network
2 June - Ukraine
Potential witness’s death deals severe blow to probe into journalist’s murder
2 June - Turkey
Woman journalist held for past five weeks on baseless charge of link to armed group
2 June - Russia
Journalist seeks asylum in Finland after being convicted for prison torture articles
29 May - France
Regrettable decision by appeal court to lift ban on magazine only if offending photo is covered up

5 February 2009 - Bulgaria
“Resignation or resistance, Bulgaria’s embattled press hesitates”
28 January 2009 - Russia
Fact-finding visit : Moscow double murder may have been linked to November attack on local newspaper editor
27 June 2008 - Turkey
Investigation report into the detention of journalist Haci Bogatekin, imprisoned for more than two months and facing ten and a half years in prison

Sign the petitions
Jusuf Ruzimuradov

Europe archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives