COUNCIL OF EUROPE OFFICIALS VISIT EYNULLA FATULLAYEV

March 5th, 2010
Yesterday, 4 March, Gundelik Azerbaijan and Realniy Azerbaijan newspapers’ editor-in-chief Eynulla Fatullayev was visited by Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Thomas Hammerberg, and Council of Europe special representative general secretary Veronica Koteck with the participation of Fatullayev’s lawyer Elchin Sadigov in the investigative prison.

The Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS) was told this by lawyer E.Sadigov.
According to Sadigov, T.Hammerberg and V.Koteck said that they will do their best to assist the editor-in-chief.
In addition, Eynulla Fatullayev’s website was attacked by hackers yesterday. IRFS was told this by Gundelik Azerbaijan newspaper’s chief editor Shahveled Chobanoglu. According to him, the website stopped operating for 3-4 hours and later they found out that most of the information about Fatullayev disappeared from the website after it began operating.
“We believe that the attack against the website came from the territory of Azerbaijan because we contacted our friends abroad and learned that the website was operating there,” said Chobanoglu. “It means that this attack against the website is related to the recent statement of the editor-in-chief.”
www.eynulla.com  website was created in 2008 by Eynulla Fatullayev’s friends to protect his rights.
Eynulla Fatullayev was sentenced to 2.5 years of imprisonment on 21 April 2007 for insulting honor and dignity.  Later he was convicted under articles 214.1 (threatening terror), 283.2.2 (incitement of ethnic/national, social or religious hatred abusing authority), and 213.2.2 (tax evasion) of the Criminal Code and was sentenced to 8.5 years of imprisonment on 30 October 2007. Prior to the new charge against him, Fatullayev was serving his sentence in prison #12. On 29 December, 0.223 grams heroin was found on Fatullayev. Eynulla Fatullayev and his lawyer assess this incident as an operation set-up to prevent the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) regarding the journalist in the near future. A criminal case was opened against Fatullayev in the Garadag District Investigative Department under article 234.1 of the Criminal Code (Illegal purchase or storage without a purpose of selling of narcotics or psychotropic substances in a quantity (amount) exceeding necessary for personal consumption) and he was transferred to the Baku Investigative Prison #2 on 2 January.  
Realniy Azerbaijan has been published as weekly newspaper, and Gundelik Azerbaijan was published as a daily newspaper since 2005. Eynulla Fatullayev established the newspapers and was the editor-in-chief of both publications. The newspapers ceased their activity after the arrest of the editor-in-chief in 2007.