BAKU APPELLATE COURT EXPRESSES POSITION ON COURTROOM “BANS”

January 13th, 2009
The Baku Appellate Court has reviewed the decision regarding the consideration of an appeal that was sent to the Azerbaijan Republic Court Rights Council by the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety. In a response letter from the Appellate Court that IRFS received today, January 13, it is stated that the failure to grant IRFS employees permission to film and photograph open court hearings is in accordance with Azerbaijan Republic Criminal Procedure Code article 310.2.4 – “During court hearings photo, video, audio, computer and other equipment with recording capabilities may only be used with permission from the judge who is chairing the hearing.

Film and photo recordings, video recordings, live broadcasting by radio and TV channels also encompasses the permission from the sides participating in the lawsuit.”

The letter that IRFS sent to the Court Rights Council and its attachments were only sent to the Baku Court of Appeals, even though these documents were also supposed to be sent to the Baku City Khatai District Court, Baku City Nasimi District Court, and Baku City Yasamal District Court. IRFS has constantly faced problems all of this courts, as well as the appeals court.

Time and time again, with reason, different judges have forbidden IRFS employees from filming and photographing open court hearings. As a result of this, IRFS appealed to the Court Rights Council.