Two Journalists Released
International PEN welcomes the release of the Nota newspaper journalist Faramaz Nozruzoglu (Allahverdiyev), on expiry of his sentence, and Bizim Yol correspondent Mushfig Huseynov, pardoned under presidential decree. PEN expresses its serious concern about all of those currently detained in violation of their right to freedom of expression, as guaranteed by Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Azerbaijan is a state party.
Faramaz Nozruzoglu was convicted and sentenced to three months in prison on defamation charges for articles published in Nota. He was imprisoned on October 8, 2009, and released from Penitentiary No. 16 on expiry of his sentence on January 8, 2009. In the same trial, Nota journalists Sardar Alibeili and Ramiz Tagiyev were sentenced to four months in prison and a six-month conditional sentence, respectively. The charges against all three were filed by the chairman of the local government union Azadlyg Harakatchilari (Freedom Movement), who claimed to have been insulted in six articles published in Nota.
Mushfig Huseynov was arrested on July 24, 2007, and sentenced to six years in prison the following January on charges of "accepting a bribe." His conviction was reduced on appeal to five years. On December 25, 2009, Huseynov was pardoned under a presidential decree, and was released the following day from the Penitentiary Services Specialized Treatment Facility for Prisoners with Tuberculosis, where he spent the last couple of months, as his health had deteriorated considerably in prison.
PEN has been monitoring the cases of these and other writers and journalists imprisoned in Azerbaijan, notably Eynulla Fatullayev, who is currently serving an eight-and-a-half-year prison sentence on political charges and faces a further three-year prison term if found guilty of recent drug possession charges.
Write A Letter
- Welcoming the release of journalists Faramaz Nozruzoglu and Mushfig Huseynov;
- Calling for the immediate and unconditional release of writers and journalists currently detained in Azerbaijan, in violation of Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Azerbaijan is a state party;
- Urging on the Azerbaijani authorities to take urgent measures to ensure the safety of journalists and freedom of expression.
Send Your Letter To
Office of the President of the Azerbaijan Republic
19 Istiqlaliyyat Street
Fax: + 994 12 492 0625
Minister of Internal Affairs
Lt.-Gen. Ramil Usubov
Ministry of Internal Affairs
Husu Hajiyev Street 7, 370005 Baku
Fax: + 994 12 492 45 90
Please send also appeals to diplomatic representatives of Azerbaijan in your country if possible.
Please send appeals immediately. Contact PEN if sending appeals after March 10, 2010: ftw [at] pen.org