Today (30 July) “Khural” Newspaper Editor-in-Chief Avaz Zeynalli conducted a press conference in the press center of the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety on the refusal of the Passport Registration Department to give him a foreign passport and threats made against "Khural" Newspaper made by the spouse of parliamentarian Aynur Jamalqizi.
Avaz Zeynalli considers the refusal to give him the passport an attempt to prevent him from traveling abroad. “An interview between Turkish Prime Minister Rajab Tayyub Ardogan and Azeri and Georgian editors is expected in near future. Within the framework of this project, I have also received an invitation from R. T. Ardogan for the interview to represent “Khural” Newspaper. I won’t be able to participate in this project if they don’t give me the passport,” Zeynalli said.
A. Zeynalli, who wants to participate in this visit, appealed to the Internal Ministry Passport Registration Department to get a passport. He has even paid the 120 AZN fee to get his passport ready in three days. “They were supposed to give my passport on Friday of last week. However, a Passport Registration Department employee named Azad called me and said, ‘We won’t be able to grant you a passport, because there’s a criminal case against you. According to certificates we received from the Justice Ministry and National Security Ministry, there’s a ban on you which bans you from leaving the country.’ Azad made it clear that I will not only be able to get a passport until a verdict is issued on the case, I will also be unable to leave the country.”
Recall that a criminal case under Article 283 (to stir racial, religious, and ethnic discrimination) of the Criminal Code was instituted against Avaz Zeynalli. The lawsuit stems from the translation of Adolph Hitler’s book “Mein Keimpf” by Avaz Zeynalli and publication of excerpts from the book in “Khural” Newspaper.
A. Zeynalli noted that he has received threatening phone calls from the spouse of Parliamentarian Aynur Jamalgizi recently. According to Zeynalli, everything started after they began to publish A.Jamalgizi’s articles without changing anything. One such article was published in “Khural” Newspaper’s #26 (290) on 27 February 2008. This article was previously published in “Yeni Musavat” Newspaper during the run-up for 2003 presidential elections. “A person by name Ilgar Aliyev, who claims to be Aynur Jamalgizi’s spouse, calls me from an unhidden phone numbers, threatens me and insults me. I am simply publishing articles she wrote in “Yeni Musavat” Newspaper about former president Heydar Aliyev and incumbent president Ilham Aliyev,” Zeynalli added.
A. Zeynalli stated that he will appeal to the court regarding both matters. He also emphasized that he has already appealed to the Ministry of Interior regarding threats made by Ilgar Aliyev.
IRFS employees called the numbers A. Zeynalli provided the journalists during the press conference. The person who answered the phone confessed that he was the Parliamentarian Aynur Jamalgizi’s husband Ilgar Aliyev and that he insulted and threatened Avaz Zeynalli. “Anybody in my place would do this. Avaz Zeynalli slanders people. I met him and talked to him as a friend. I asked him several times to distance himself from these bad actions. But this person is still continuing to insult my wife and degrade her honor and dignity. What can I do in this situation?” said I. Aliyev, adding that he will sue Avaz Zeynalli in the near future.