Today in the office of the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety, “Khural” Newspaper Editor-in-Chief Avaz Zeynalli conducted a press conference on a lawsuit filed against him.

After opening the conference the Editor-in-Chief noted that, “the reason for today’s conference is the lawsuits filed against the newspaper which is lead by me. “Khural” Newspaper has 6 hearings at the moment”. According to the Editor-in-chief, some of lawsuits can be considered as completed. Zeynalli emphasized that, the decision adopted on the basis of “Kurort” Stock Company chairman Akif Mammadov’s lawsuit by the court is censorship-like. “When the article about Akif Mammadov was forbidden, we had to publish two pages the newspaper “white”. According to the court decision, “The defense Avaz Zeynalli and the other staffs are forbidden to publish and spread any information or article about Mammadov Akif. I think it is a censorship”. Zeynalli also added that, when they are introduced notification related to the decision, the court drew up a statement. According to the statement, if the court decision is not obeyed, the defense team will be convicted under Article 306 of the Criminal Code (not to execute court verdict, decision). According to the Editor-in-Chief, “this decision has caused for unpleasant precedent. Though the Articles 147 (slander) and 148 (insult) are decriminalized from the Criminal Code, a decision regarding the defamation is adopted, the arrests of the journalists for the Article 306 will increase”. He also added that, Akif Mammadov’s representatives called today and said that they will take lawsuit back. “We think the edition of two pages of the newspaper in “white” was the reason for such stet. The newspaper has never been published with “white” pages within 10 years”.   

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