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Azerbaijan appeals against European Court ruling ordering journalist’s release

Journalist Eynulla Fatullayev in a Baku court in 2007.

Azerbaijan’s representative to the European Court of Human Rights has announced that his government appealed Friday against a ruling issued by the court in April ordering Azerbaijan to free Eynulla Fatullayev, an opposition newspaper editor who has been held since April 20, 2007.

Paris-based Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) over what will happen to Fatullayev and regards this announcement as further confirmation of Azerbaijan’s total disregard of the European Court and press freedom.

In a ruling issued on April 22, the European Court not only ordered Azerbaijan to free Fatullayev at once but also to pay him 25,000 euros in compensation.
The ruling was completely ignored by a court in the Baku district of Garadag on July 6, when it imposed an additional 30-month jail sentence on Fatullayev on a trumped-up charge of possession of heroin.

The judge also ruled that the sentence would be counted from the day of the sentencing rather that the day in December when Fatullayev was moved from his regular cell to pre-trial detention after the drug was allegedly discovered in his clothes. This had the effect of adding another six months to the sentence.

Azerbaijan’s appeal will be examined by the Grand Chamber of the European Court. Fatullayev’s lawyers hope that the Grand Chamber will quickly uphold the original decision ordering his release. But would that have any effect after all the efforts undertaken by the Azerbaijani authorities to keep him in prison? asked RSF

Date posted: July 18, 2010 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 112