“The decision of the European Court of Human Rights is compulsory for member countries.”
“Turan” Information Agency was told this by Council of Europe Expert, and lawyer Piotr Turek, at the same time he expressed his opinion on the decision of the European Court of Human Rights regarding imprisoned editor-in-chief Gundelik Azerbaijan and Realniy Azerbaijan newspapers, Eynulla Fatullayev.
Turek said that the Council of Europe Cabinet of Ministers oversees the execution of the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, and if the Azerbaijani government does not implement the decision regarding the journalist, the Azerbaijani government can be invited to the Cabinet of Ministers and a decision can be adopted to execute this decision.
Responding to the questions regarding European Court’s decision regarding Eynulla Fatullayev, the Council of Europe General Secretary’s Special Representative in Azerbaijan, Veronica Koteck, said that the decision of the ECHR comes into force 3 months after the decision adopted. Veronica Koteck added that the sides have right to take the case for discussions at the Grand Chamber of the ECHR during this term; however, the execution of the decision will come forward after the decision comes into force, according to APA information agency.
The European Court of Human Rights issued a decision regarding the case of imprisoned Editor-in-chief of Gundelik Azerbaijan and Realniy Azerbaijan Newspapers Eynulla Fatullayev. The decision states that the journalist should be released immediately and the Azerbaijani government should pay 27,822 EUR to Fatullayev in compensation.
Eynulla Fatullayev was arrested in the court hall on 20 April 2007 under the decision adopted by the Yasamal District Court on the lawsuit of Refugee/IDP Rights Defense Committee Chairperson Tatyana Chaladze.
After his arrest, a criminal case was opened against Eynulla Fatullayev in the National Security Ministry Chief Investigative Office regarding an article published in Realniy Azerbaijan newspaper, which, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, caused foreign citizens and representatives of international organs safety concerns. He was convicted under articles 214.1 (threatening terror), 283.2.2 (incitement of ethnic/national, social or religious hatred abusing authority) of the Criminal Code and was sentenced to pre-trial detention. Eynulla Fatullayev was then convicted under 213.2.2 (tax evasion).
Eynulla Fatullayev was sentenced to 8.5 years of imprisonment on 30 October 2007 under the decision adopted by the Grave Crimes Court and was fined in the amount of 242 thousand 522 AZN.
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 an amount exceeding necessary limit for personal consumption) and he was transferred to the Baku Investigative Prison #2 on 2 January. The investigation into the case was concluded and it is being considered in the Garadag District Court.
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.