Azerbaijan30 May 2007
Journalist serving sentence for libel transferred to national security ministry centre
Reporters Without Borders is concerned about opposition journalist Eynulla Fatullayev’s transfer yesterday from Bayil prison to the national security ministry’s detention centre. His lawyer said Fatullayev was given no prior warning of the transfer, although he should have been.
Furthermore, the ministry has brought new charges against him under article 214 of the criminal code, which outlaws inciting acts of terrorism. Neither Fatullayev nor his lawyer have so far been told how he is supposed to have violated this article.
Two and a half years in prison for editor who “insulted” Azerbaijanis
Voicing concern about the growing number of press freedom violations in Azerbaijan, Reporters Without Borders today called for the immediate release of Eynulla Fatullayev, the editor of the weekly Realny Azerbaijan and of the daily Gundelik Azerbaijan, who was just been jailed
Fatullayev was given a two-and-a-half year jail term by the Yasamal district court in Baku on 20 April for “defaming” and “insulting” Azerbaijanis in an article about the murder of Azeris in Khojali, a town in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. He was taken off to prison at the end of the court hearing.
Fatullayev was already convicted of libel in 2002, when he was fined 10,000 euros. He used to be deputy editor of the Monitor, a weekly known for criticising President Ilham Aliev’s government. Its founder and editor, Elmar Huseynov, was murdered on 2 March 2005.
Uzeir Jafarov, a journalist with Gundelik Azerbaijan, was attacked and beaten by two men as he was returning to his car after the 20 April court hearing. He said he recognised one of his assailants as someone who had attended the Fatullayev trial.