Afrique Ameriques Asie Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
Azerbaijan28 August 2007

Regime criticised for press rights violations

Reporters Without Borders called today on the Azeri government to “stop cracking down on independent and opposition journalists” after the European Parliament’s human rights committee was told by top EU official Rutger Wissels at hearings on 27 August that the press freedom situation in Azerbaijan was “not acceptable.”

The worldwide press freedom organisation noted that the Azeri supreme court had on 21 August upheld an appeals court’s two-year prison sentence for libel imposed on journalist Eynulla Fatullayev, editor of the newspapers Realny Azerbaijan and Gundelik Azerbaïdjan. His lawyer said he would take the case to the European Court of Human Rights.

“The number of lawsuits against Azeri journalists is growing,” it said, “and when journalists are imprisoned, they are held in very poor conditions. The health of Faramaz Allahverdiev of Nota Bene, jailed for two and a half years for libel, has worsened after a recent operation at a prison hospital. His family says he needs a second operation but it will be risky because he is already weak.”

Emin Eyyubov, head of the Azeri mission to the EU, and human rights activist Arzu Abdullayeva, gave evidence to the European Parliament committee hearings, which are part of a review of the EU’s “neighbourhood policy.” Committee member Fazil Gazanfaroglou said the Azeri government must “learn to resolve such problems by itself.” He said “concern about democracy would be expressed by the country’s authorities but would unfortunately not be followed by any real action and no journalists would be released from prison.”

  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