4TH ANNIVERSARY OF FATULLAYEV’S ARREST

April 20th, 2011

Today is the 4th anniversary of the arrest of journalist Eynulla Fatullayev, former editor-in-chief of Gundelik Azerbaijan and Realniy Azerbaidjan newspapers. April 22 will mark one year since the European Court ruled for the immediate release of the journalist. 

 

Fatullayev remains behind bars. Around 20 journalists held a one-day hunger strike today in support of Fatullayev, holding banners reading ‘Attention! Fifth anniversary of Fatullayev’s arrest starts! Release Eynulla Fatullayev!’. The aim of the strike was to raise public awareness of Fatullayev’s plight in all its complexity. The journalists were striking in their work places.

Earlier, Fatullayev had said through his lawyer that he would begin a hunger strike to mark this anniversary, but his colleagues persuaded him not to, due to his serious health problems. They are striking on his behalf.

The strike was joined by Mehman Aliyev, Rauf Arifoglu, Ganimat Zahid, Rovshan Hajiyev, Elnur Astanbayli, Shahvalad Chobanoglu, Zamin Haji, Idrak Abbasov, Famil Jafarli Elmin Hasanli, Natig Adilov, Elshad Gojayev, Sujaddin Sharifov, Ramin Deco, Gultakin Kniazgizi, Nemat Huseynli, Aynur Elgunash, Tatyana Kryuchkina,  Natig Javadlı, Elshan Balakhanili, Samir Kazimli and others.
In 2007, Eynulla Fatullayev, editor-in-chief of “Realniy Azerbaydjan” and “Gundelik Azerbaycan” newspapers, was sentenced to 8.5 years in jail for threatening terrorism, amongst other charges. However, on April 22, 2010, the European Court of Human Rights ruled for his immediate release and financial compensation from the Azerbaijani government (27,800 EUR). The Azerbaijani Supreme Court Plenum has only partially fulfilled the decision.
BACKGROUND
On the 29th of December, 2009, 0.223 grams of heroin was reportedly found on Fatullayev in Prison #12 and on the 6th of July, 2010, Fatullayev was found guilty under article 234.1 ( possession of narcotics) of the Criminal Code. His sentence of two years and six months in prison began on the same date. His appeal against the decision was rejected.
In 2007, Eynulla Fatullayev, editor-in-chief of “Realniy Azerbaydjan” and “Gundelik Azerbaycan” newspapers, was sentenced to 8.5 years in jail for threatening terrorism, amongst other charges. However, on April 22, 2010, the European Court of Human Rights ruled for his immediate release and financial compensation from the Azerbaijani government (27,800 EUR). The Azerbaijani Supreme Court Plenum has only partially fulfilled the decision.