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Imprisoned Fatullayev will not be freed regardless of outcome of Azerbaijan’s appeal

The new charge against Fatullayev is the latest instance of the government’s years-long persecution of the editor. His two newspapers, the Russian-language weekly Realny Azerbaijan and the Azeri-language daily Gündalik Azarbaycan, both of which reported critically about the government, are now closed.

Azerbaijan’s representative to the European Court of Human Rights, Chingiz Askerov, has said that the reason his government appealed against the court’s April 22 ruling, calling for the release of imprisoned journalist Eynulla Fatullayev, was that it was “contrary to international norms.”

Even if the court’s Grand Chamber upholds the original decision, Fatullayev will not be released without a favourable ruling from Azerbaijan’s supreme court, Askerov told BBC.

As regards the European Court’s call for Fatullayev to be paid 25,000 euros in compensation for being illegally detained, Askerov said the money has not been paid because Azerbaijan has appealed against the decision, and the ruling will no longer be valid if the Grand Chamber rules in favour of the appeal.

Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) expressed outrage at the Azerbaijani government’s persistence in persecuting Fatullayev, who has been held on spurious charges since 2007. The refusal to release him shows what little heed the authorities pay to press freedom and the decisions of international bodies such as the European Court.

Date posted: July 22, 2010 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 145