July 1st, 2010

Today, 1 July, in the Baku Appellate Court, under the chairmanship of Judge Jamila Safiyeva, a hearing was held on the appeal of student-journalist Elmin Bedelov, who was dismissed from the Azerbaijan State Oil Academy, against Nasimi District Court’s decision on 5 April.  

Judge J.Safiyeva did not allow media representatives and observers to participate in the open hearing as she did during the last hearings. Plaintiff E.Bedelov and his representative Fariz Namazli, defense lawyer Ilgar Javadli and ASOA representative of “Oil Mechanics” faculty dean Gasim Memmedov participated in the hearing.   


The Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS) was told by the plaintiff’s lawyer Fariz Namazli, “We appealed to the judge to allow media representatives to the hearing. Judge J.Safiyeva said that the appeal will be presented to the Appellate Court today,” stated F.Namazli and added that the judge scheduled the next hearing for 2 July, at 2.30 p.m.  


IRFS appealed to Court-Law Council Chairman Fikret Memmedov, Baku Appellate Court Chairman Iman Nagiyev and Ombudsman Elmira Suleymanova highlighting the failure of the court to allow journalists and observers in the open hearing.   


Today, 1 July, IRFS received the letter from the Baku Appellate Court, Organization Department Chief Rashad Memmedov which stated that the judge did not allow media representatives to participate in the hearing on 10 June, 2010 without permission after the hearing began. It was also stressed in the letter that each person, as well as media representatives, can participate in the hearings held in the Baku Appellate Court except for closed hearings.


Yeni Musavat newspaper’s employee Elmin Bedelov was dismissed from the State Oil Academy on 19 January 2010. On 12 November 2009 Elmin Bedelov published an article on website (“Reportage from Azerbaijan State Oil Academy”) regarding incidents of bribes and financial frauds in the Azerbaijan State Oil Academy. The student-journalist claims that pressure against him and his failures are because of the article. Although he filed a lawsuit in the Nasimi District Court against Azerbaijan State Oil Academy and Rector Siyavush Garayeva, on April 5 2010, the decision was made to not fulfill lawsuit.