Avaz Zeynalli appeals to ombudsman

August 29th, 2012

The editor of "Khural" newspaper, AvazZeynalli , who is currently serving pre-trial detention, sent a letter to Ombudman, Elmira Suleymanova. In his letter, Zeynalli informs the Ombudsman about numerous violations of his rights and invites Suleymanovato visit him in detention.

 right“It is already ten months that I have been held in the Baku Investigative Prison. There are better prison conditions here, which are surely gained by bribery and corruption. Prisoners are deprived of reading newspapers. The accused are often denied meetings with their families, their correspondence and letters are controlled, and their complaints are not delivered to the intended address. As a political prisoner, they violate my rights and my efforts to defend my rights are thwarted. My complaints are not delivered to their addresses. I cannot meet with the prison warden”  said Zeynalli. Zeynalli   recommended the Ombudsman come to the jail without informing jail leadership, and deal with the situation.

Avaz Zeynalli, the editor-in-chief of Khural, was arrested following a lawsuit brought by MP Gular Ahmadova on October 28th, 2011. The Anti-Corruption Office launched a criminal case against Zeynalli under article 311.3.3 (taking a large bribe) and article 311.3.4 (extortion). Later he was charged under article 306 (contempt of court) and article 213.1 (tax evasion).  He has been held in Baku Investigative Prison for more than 10 months.  

Local and international human rights organizations strongly believe that the charges against AvazZeynalli are trumped-up and that he was arrested for his articles criticizing high-ranking state officials.