Mehman

IFEX, the global network of 119 organisations dedicated to promoting and defending the right to freedom of expression and information, strongly condemns the decision by the Supreme Court of Azerbaijan to return the case of Mehman Huseynov, chair of IFEX member the Institute for Reporters Freedom and Safety, to the appellate court that had previously convicted him. » » » »

The Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety (IRFS) condemns the fact that the Supreme Court of Azerbaijan has failed to release the journalist and human rights defender Mehman Huseynov, and instead referred his case the Court of Appeal. » » » »

Joint Statement

As World Press Freedom Day is celebrated across the globe on May 3, we, the undersigned organizations, cannot forget the untenable price journalists pay for government criticism in Azerbaijan. The case of Mehman Huseynov is emblematic. Huseynov is a popular journalist and blogger in Azerbaijan who is known for his hard-hitting exposés of alleged corruption by senior Azerbaijani officials. In March 2017, a Baku court sentenced him to two years in prison on charges of defaming an entire police station, after he gave a statement in front of the courthouse in which he described the abuses he had suffered at that police station. » » » »

On 27 April, Baku Court of Appeal chaired by Judge Gail Mammadov heard the appeal brought against Sabail District Court’s decision of 28 March 2017 in the caseconcerning prominent blogger and human rights activist Mehman Huseynov’s subjection to torture in police custody.

Mehman Huseynov did not attend court. He substantiated his absence by his sickness and by the a direct transfer from Prison #14, where he is held, to Baku Court of Appeal. » » » »

IRFS Chairman, blogger Mehman Huseynov, who has recently been sentenced to two years in jail, has been transferred to Prison #14 of the Penitentiary Service of the Ministry of Justice, as reported by lawyer Elchin Sadigov.

Common-regime prison #14 is located far from Baku, in Gizildash settlement of Garadag district. The prison is infamous for protest actions stemming from the cases of torture. There is currently no other political prisoner except Mehman Huseynov in this prison. » » » »

IRFS chairman Mehman Huseynov, who has recently been sentenced to two years in jail, is expected to be transferred to the prison today 19 April, lawyer Elchin Sadigov has reported.

The lawyer noted that he met with Mehman Huseynov in the detention centre today. “Mehman is in a normal mood. After Baku Appeal Court’s decision dated 12 April 2017, he has been moved from his cell to the cell of transit (transferred) inmates. Mehman is dissatisfied with the detention conditions in this cell. Since he was moved to this cell, the minimum conditions envisaged for inmates are not provided for him, “ the lawyer said. » » » »

The Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS) resolutely condemns today’s decision of the Court of Appeals in Baku, Azerbaijan to uphold on appeal the two-year prison sentence of Mehman Huseynov on charges of defamation. IRFS believes their chairman and popular blogger Mehman Huseynov was targeted solely for his critical reporting of official corruption and nepotism, and that he should be released immediately and unconditionally.The Baku Court of Appeals upheld the ruling of the lower court from 3 March, which sentenced Mehman to two years in prison for defamation. The court ignored the facts of the case and refused to properly investigate the torture of Mehman in jail on 9 January. » » » »

> Lawyer Elchin Sadigov: We will file an appeal with the Supreme Court. Unless it is granted, we will turn to the European Court.

On 12 April, Baku Court of Appeal announced the decision on the appeal filed against Surakhani District Court’s judgment on blogger Mehman Huseynov. The judgment was upheld by the jury presided over by Judge Vagif Mursagulov.

The hearing was attended by media representatives, socio-political figures, and representatives of civil society, international organisations and diplomatic corps. Mehman Huseynov’s presence in the hearing as ensured. His rights were defended by lawyers Elchin Sadigov, Fuad Agayev and Shahla Humbatova. Lawyer Alirza Habilov participated as the representative of the party that has brought the private prosecution. » » » »

On 11 April, Baku Court of Appeal chaired by Judge Vagif Mursagulov heard the appeal filed against Surakhani District Court’s judgment on blogger Mehman Huseynov. The hearing was attended by mass media representatives, socio-political figures, and representatives of civil society, international organisations and diplomatic corps. Due to the smallness of the courtroom, many of those wishing to attend had to wait outside. Mehman himself was also present at the hearing. His rights were defended by lawyers Fuad Agayev, Elchin Sadigov and Shahla Humbatova. » » » »

> Mehman Huseynov: Freedom of speech costs too much in Azerbaijan;

> Elchin Sadigov: If Mehman’s health worsened after being brought to the police office, then it is the state’s duty to prove this fact of torture;

> Shahla Humbatova: Another reason for the reprisals against Mehman is the fact that he is the chairman of the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS).

On 11 April, Baku Court of Appeal held a hearing on the appeal filed against Surakhani District Court’s judgment on blogger Mehman Huseynov. The hearing chaired by Judge Vagif Mursagulov was attended by media representatives, socio-political figures, and representatives of civil society, international organisations and diplomatic corps. Mehman Huseynov’s presence in the hearing was ensured. His rights were defended by lawyers Elchin Sadigov, Fuad Agayev and Shahla Humbatova. Lawyer Alirza Habilov participated as the representative of the party that has brought the private prosecution. » » » »