EYNULLA FATULLAYEV: FURTHER APPEAL SUBMITTED TO EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS

April 26th, 2011
The attorneys for imprisoned journalist Eynulla Fatullayev have filed another appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, reported the Media Rights Institute (MRI).The journalist’s lawyers are appealing against two judgments passed by the Supreme Court Plenum of the Azerbaijani Republic regarding the implementation of the European Court of Human Rights ruling for the journalist’s immediate release.

The appeal against the Supreme Court Plenum’s decisions was prepared by MRI director, the  journalist’s attorney Rashid Hajili, and other MRI lawyers.
The appeal says that the Supreme Court plenum violated the journalist’s right to freedom of expression (Article 10 of the Euroepan Convention on Human Rights), and to a fair court hearing, to freedom and immunity. The Court also, they say, violated the ban on double prosecution established by Protocol #7 of the European Convention, as well as the right to compensation in case of court error.  
The journalis’s defenders asked European Court of Human Rights to recognize the violation of Fatullayev’s rights and to call for his compensation. The appeal requests the European Court to acknowledge the violation of these rights, and to ensure that Fatullayev is duly compensated.
BACKGROUND
On the 29th of December, 2009, 0.223 grams of heroin was reportedly found on Fatullayev in Prison #12 and on the 6th of July, 2010, Fatullayev was found guilty under article 234.1 (possession of narcotics) of the Criminal Code. His sentence of two years and six months in prison began on the same date. His appeal against the decision was rejected.
In 2007, Eynulla Fatullayev, editor-in-chief of “Realniy Azerbaydjan” and “Gundelik Azerbaycan” newspapers, was sentenced to 8.5 years in jail for threatening terrorism, amongst other charges. However, on April 22, 2010, the European Court of Human Rights ruled for his immediate release and financial compensation from the Azerbaijani government (27,800 EUR). The Azerbaijani Supreme Court Plenum has only partially fulfilled the decision.