February 5th, 2009
Today, February 5, in Baku Appellate Court, under the chairmanship of Judge Rizvan Safarov, a hearing was held on the appellate court on a complaint of “Azadlig” Newspaper satiric/journalist Sakit Zahidov. S. Zahidov’s lawyer Isaxan Ashurov, Prison #10 representative Senan Memmedov and Prison # 14 representative Natig Hajiyev participated in the hearing.

According to Isakhan Ashurov, the hearing was held in Prison #10 under the chairmanship of Nasimi District Court Judge Elshana Veliyeva and it was all predetermined before he arrived. “We were not allowed to speak during the hearing. They indicated that the reason not to free S.Zahidov is that he had not accepted his guilt.”
Representative of Prison #10 S. Memmedov made a speech telling that the reason of not to release S. Zahidov violated discipline rules when entered Prison # 14. “S. Zahidov violated the discipline rules repeatedly,” said Mammedov. “That’s why we can’t release such person before the end of his sentence.”
In response the question from Ashurov about exactly what discipline rules Zahidov violated, Prison #14 representative Natig Hajiyev said that Zahidov conducted a hunger-strike, although he was repeatedly told not to.
In the end, Judge Safarov made a decision about not to fulfill the lawsuit and Zahidov will not be released before the end of his term.

It should be noted that the camera of IRFS employees were confiscated by police in the entrance door of the room in a which the hearing was conducted, and given back only after the proceeding was over. Thus, IRFS was unable to film or photograph the hearing.

Sakit Zahidov was imprisoned on 23 June 2006 on spurious charges of possession of narcotics, and has five months left in his three-year prison sentence.