Mehman

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. » » » »

> The lawyers’ motion to consider the appeal through judicial investigation was not granted;

> Lawyer Fuad Agayev: It is a big disgrace to contribute to such an illegal judgment.

On 10 April, Baku Court of Appeal held a hearing on the appeal filed against Surakhani District Court’s judgment regarding 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 the diplomatic corps. Due to the small size of the courtroom, many of those wishing to participate had to wait outside. » » » »

> The court granted the lawyers’ motion to postpone the proceedings to make observations on the transcripts of Sabail District Court.

On 6 April, Baku Court of Appeal considered the appeal brought against the decision of Baku Prosecutor’s Office on refusal to initiate criminal proceedings into the police torture against blogger Mehman Huseynov. The hearing was held behind closed doors and presided over by Judge Gail Mammadov. Mehman Huseynov’s participation in the hearing was ensured. » » » »

(Baku, Azerbaijan) – Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS) is launching a 30-day campaign ahead of World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) calling on UNESCO to hold Azerbaijani authorities accountable for their frantic crackdown on free expression.Specifically, we call on UNESCO to demand the immediate and unconditional release of IRFS’ Chairman, popular blogger Mehman Huseynov, jailed for exposing torture, corruption and official misconduct in Azerbaijan.

“It’s a travesty that Mehman Huseynov, a well-respected blogger fighting corruption and injustice was jailed in a sham defamation case after he had reported torture and ill-treatment by police. But this is just one of many cases of media harassment and intimidation of journalists carried out by the Azerbaijani authorities,” said Emin Huseynov, IRFS Chief Executive Officer. » » » »

> None of the motions was granted by the court;

> Addressing the judge, Mehman Huseynov said: It would be good if you release me, but I would not care if you do not.

On 29 March, Baku Court of Appeal held a preliminary hearing on the appeal filed against Surakhani District Court’s judgment on blogger Mehman Huseynov. The hearing presided over by Judge Vagif Mursagulov was attended by a number of media representatives, socio-political figures, and representatives of international organisations and diplomatic corps. Due to the small size of the courtroom, many of those wishing to participate had to wait outside. » » » »