Today, on November 15th, the Union of Editors held a meeting at the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety.
The meeting started with a discussion of an appeal to be sent to Eldar Mahmudov, the Minister of National Security, regarding the recent hacking attacks on websites. The appeal was adopted after discussion.
Editors Union unveiled its position regarding the article “Anarchy Reigns at Zagatala Regional Police Office”, published in the 26 October 2011 edition of Gundalik Baki newspaper. The Union’s statement, prepared based on the methodology of the Najaf Najafov Foundation and the Azerbaijani Journalists’ Code of Ethics, states that ethical norms were violated and slanderous statements made in both the article and in the Internal Ministry’s response to the article.
The attendees then discussed Khural newspaper and its arrested editor-in-chief Avaz Zeynalli. They exchanged views on ways to improvement Avaz Zeynalli’s defense. They also said that Avaz Zeynalli faces serious problems regarding bad prison conditions– he is being kept in a wet and cold cell. The Editors Union also spoke about the case of Khural newspaper‘s regional correspondent, Aydin Janiyev, who remains in jail
Afterwards, the Union discussed the case of the journalist Idrak Abbasov, whose family was assaulted on September 9th, 2011. According to Abbasov, no measure has been taken against the persons who assaulted his family and damaged their property. The editors decided to maintain focus on this issue.
The next issue discussed by the Editors Union were lawsuits filed against Gundam Khabar newspaper. According to the editor-in-chief of the newspaper, Shirin Jafarli, the investigation into the criminal case launched against the newspaper for tax evasion, has been compeleted and the case has been sent to court. Baku Economic Court #1 will hear the case on November 28th. The head of Samukh Regional Executive Power Vilyam Hajiyev also filed a lawsuit against the newspaper claiming 110 000 AZN in compensation for “defense of honor and dignity, and for “psychological damage”. The editor-in-chief Jafarli said that the reason for the lawsuit was a report about Samukh, published in the newspaper. He reported that the first court hearing on this lawsuit has already been held. However, during the hearing, representative of the newspaper Nasimi Sharifkhanoglu filed a motion requesting to hear the case in Baku where the newspaper was registered and currently functions. The Editors Union decided to continue monitoring both court proceedings.