The Committee to Protect Journalists demanded that Azerbaijani authorities scrap a new trumped-up charge against imprisoned editor Eynulla Fatullayev.
“The government persecution of Eynulla Fatullayev is excessive in its zeal and scope,” said CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova. “It’s not hard to link the timing of this new charge to the European Court action. We call on Azerbaijani authorities to drop this absurd new indictment against him.”
On 29 December, 0.22 grams heroin was found on Fatullayev. Eynulla Fatullayev and his lawyer assessed this incident as an operation set-up to prevent the decision of the ECHR regarding the journalist in the near future. Fatullayev was transferred to the Baku Investigative Prison #2 on 2 January.
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.
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.