Afrique Ameriques Asie Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
Azerbaijan11 October 2007

Government urged to free journalists at end of Ramadan

Reporters Without Borders today urged the authorities to mark tomorrow’s Ramazan Bayram festivity at the end of Ramadan, a time of forgiveness and tolerance, by showing clemency and releasing all of the seven journalists currently detained in Azerbaijan.

“Azerbaijan has been condemned many times by us and by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe for its repeated press freedom violations,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The country has undertaken to respect human rights but nothing has been done. It is time for a rapid improvement in the situation and an end to the constant persecution of independent news media.”

The press freedom organisation continued: “As Ramadan comes to an end with the three days of Ramazan Bayram, in which families get together to celebrate the end of the month-long fast, our thoughts go out to the seven imprisoned journalists who will spend this time on their own, cut off from their loved ones.”

The organisation added: “They were convicted on such charges as defamation or insulting comments. It is vital that these offences should be decriminalised, as they are repeatedly used to gag the opposition media. The authorities should seize the occasion to free these journalists and thereby demonstrate the sincerity of their promises of democratization.”

The seven journalists currently imprisoned are Sakit Zahidov of the newspaper Azadlig, Faramaz Allahverdiyev of the daily Nota Bene, Eynulla Fatullaev, the editor of the dailies Gundelik Azerbaijan and Realny Azerbaijan, Yashar Agazadeh of Mukhalifat, Rovshan Kabirli of Mukhalifat, Samir Sadatoglu, the editor of the weekly Sanat, and Rafik Tagi, one of his journalists. They are serving jail terms ranging from two to four years.

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