Azadliq Newspaper’s Publication Halted

September 6th, 2016

azadliq qazeti

The Azerbaijan publishing house has refused to print the Azadliq newspaper for an indefinite period of time due to the newspaper’s debt owed to the publisher. The publishing company had set a deadline for Azadliq to pay a significant portion of the debt by September 5. But as the newspaper failed to pay the funds within the deadline, its publication was stopped.

The newspaper’s first deputy editor-in-chief Rahim Hajiyev said the reason Azadliq could not pay the money was its inability to perform banking operations. According to Hajiyev, as the newspaper’s financial director Faig Amirli has been arrested, the signature specimen of another person needs to be certified in order to perform banking operations, but the notarial authority has refused to certify the signature specimen.

Background: Faig Amirli was arrested on August 20. Employees of the investigating authority searched his car and house, and allegedly found and seized Fetullah Gulen books from his car. According to his lawyer, wedding video cassettes were also seized during the search. Amirli is charged under Articles 283.1 (Actions aimed at the incitement of national, racial, social or religious hatred and enmity, humiliation of national dignity, as well as actions aimed at restricting the rights of citizens or establishment of the superiority of citizens on grounds of their nationality, race, social status or religion, if these acts are committed publicly or through the media) and 168.1 (Creating, managing or being part of a group, which – under the pretext of disseminating religious faiths and performing religious rites – carries out an activity that disrupts public order or harms the health of citizens or violates the rights of citizens irrespective of its form of infringement, as well as distracts citizens from performance of their duties established by law) of the Criminal Code. Nasimi District Court has ordered 3-month pre-trial detention of Faig Amirli.