September 16th, 2008

Today (16 September) Freedom of Speech Defense Fund working group, members of the Human Rights Defenders Monitoring Committee and Advising Council of “For Free and Fair Elections” met with PACE Monitoring Committee co-rapporteur on Azerbaijan Andreas Herkel, who is currently visiting Baku.

Freedom of Speech Defense Fund Chairperson Arzu Abdullayeva told the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety that elections, problems regarding political prisoners and especially imprisoned journalists were discussed during the meeting. Abdullayev gave information about provocation against satiric/journalist Sakit Zahidov, which happened a while ago, and presented a complaint from Rena Zahidova, Sakit Zahidov’s wife, to Andreas Herkel. Information about Eynulla Fatullayev and Ganimat Zahid and their situation was brought to his attention.

Herkel promised that he will meet with Justice Minister Fikrat Mammadov within the framework of this visit and discuss the problems of the imprisoned journalists.