APPEAL SENT TO PRESIDENT REGARDING RELEASE OF MUSHFIG HUSEYNOV

December 7th, 2009
Today, 7 December, in the center of the Institute for Reporters` Freedom and Safety, a roundtable was conducted regarding the serious deterioration of imprisoned “Bizim yol” newspaper correspondent Mushfig Huseynov’s health and the threat to his life due to tuberculosis.

IRFS Chairman Emin Huseynov said that Mushfig Huseynov`s disease has reached the dangerous level and his situation keeps deteriorating. Emin Huseynov added that it is necessary for Mushfig to be treated in freedom, and in a home condition so he is able to live. Human rights defenders, representatives of the mass media signed an appeal to the President of Azerbaijan Republic Ilham Aliyev to release Mushfig Huseynov.
It is said in the appeal:
Mr. President,   
Seven journalists are being held imprisoned over unfounded charges (two of them were engaged in citizen journalism). One of them, imprisoned for 5 years is “Bizim Yol” newspaper correspondent Mushfig Huseynov, whose life is in serious danger. The journalist has been serving 2.5 years of his five year prison term. This time spent deteriorated Mushfig Huseynov’s situation seriously, as he had already had tuberculosis before. On 14 October M.Huseynov was transferred from prison #2 to the Penitentiary Services Specialized Treatment Facility for Tuberculosis prisoners with the diagnosis of ‘pulmonary infiltrative tuberculosis of the left lung in the destruction phase.’ After two month treatments, Mushfig has now being diagnosed with “fibrosis-cavernous pulmonary tuberculosis.” This equates to a serious threat to Mushfig`s life. The disease has already done the damge and Mushfig has two big holes in his lung. In addition, as a result of the disease, Mushfig is very depressed and does not have any appetite to eat anything. He currently has third degree gastroptosis, the abnormal downward displacement of the stomach. Although he received additional treatment course for his appetite, no positive effect came out of this. Doctors say that Mushfig’s life will end in tragedy and he will die if he is not released and treated in a normal condition at home. The death of any journalist in prison is a grave tragedy and does not bring pride to the Republic of Azerbaijan. “Tolishi-Sado” newspaper editor-in-chief Novruzali Mammadov passed away in prison because he did not receive normal treatment.  Mushfig Huseynov has two very young children (one of them is 2 year old and the other is 4 years old) and a spouse, who does not have opportunity to work, and elderly, ill parents in his custody.
Mr. President, we ask you to do your best to save Mushfig Huseynov’s life and to release him soon.”
On 14 October M.Huseynov, who suffers from late-stage tuberculosis, was transferred from prison #2 to the Penitentiary Services Specialized Treatment Facility for Tuberculosis prisoners.    
Mushfig Huseynov was convicted under Article 311.1 (receiving of a bribe) of the Criminal Code in July, 2007 and on 21 January 2008 was sentenced by Grave Crimes Court Judge Jamal Ramazanov to 6 years of imprisonment. However, this sentence was reduced to 5 years through a decision adopted by the Appellate Court.   
Bizim yol newspaper has been published since 2003 and operates as daily newspaper.