EYNULLA FATULLAYEV RESPONDS TO MIRSHAHIN AGAYEV

August 23rd, 2010

Imprisoned Editor-in-chief of Realniy Azerbaijan and Gundelik Azerbaijan newspapers Eynulla Fatullayev wrote a response letter to the author of the film “Unhappy Man (Fatullayev against Azerbaijan),” ANS Companies Group vice-president Mirshahin Agayev.

The article entitled “Person serving evil will hate the world” was published in Yeni Musavat newspaper on 21 August.    

 

After the “Unhappy Man” went on the air there were a lot of reactions in the society, and therefore Mirshahin published an article in Yeni Musavat newspaper and used unwanted expressions and claims in his writing.

 

Fatullayev answered to those claims in his article and stated that the real truth is not the one Mirshahin was trying to deliver to the society.

 

On the 8th of August, a black smear campaign was conducted against Fatullayev in the film “Unhappy Man (Fatullayev against Azerbaijan)” which was broadcasted on ANS TV. Fatullayev was presented as a traitor in the 20 minute film.  The film claimed that Fatullayev served Armenia, Azerbaijan's enemy country. The author of the film, ANS Companies Group vice-president Mirshahin Agayev, tried to explain that Fatullayev was not imprisoned due to his journalist work.

 

BACKGROUND

 

On the 20th of April 2007, Fatullayev was arrested in the court hall 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 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 organizations concerns about their safety. 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 a pre-trial detention. Fatullayev was then convicted under 213.2.2 (tax evasion). Fatullayev was sentenced to 8.5 years of imprisonment on the 30th of October 2007 and was fined 242 thousand 522 AZN under the decision of the Grave Crimes Court.

 

On the 29th of December 2009, 0.223 grams of heroin was found on Fatullayev in Prison #12.

 

A criminal case was opened against Fatullayev in the Garadag District Investigative Department. On the 6th of July 2010, Fatullayev was found guilty under article 234.1 (Illegal purchase or storage without a purpose of selling of narcotics or psychotropic substances in an amount exceeding the necessary limit for personal consumption) of the Criminal Code and his sentence of to two years and six months in prison began on this date. Fatullayev and his lawyer believe that this incident was a set-up in order for the court to not comply with the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) regarding the journalist's release.   

 

On the 22nd of April 2010, the ECHR issued a decision that Fatullayev should be released immediately, and that the Azerbaijani government should pay 27,822 EUR to Fatullayev in compensation. The Azerbaijani government filed an appeal with the Grand Chamber of the ECHR regarding this decision. Fatullayev is recognized as prisoner of conscience by local and international organizations.   

 

Fatullayev established and was the Editor-in-chief of both Realniy Azerbaijan and Gundelik Azerbaijan newspapers. Beginning their publications in 2005, Realniy Azerbaijan ran as a weekly newspaper, whereas Gundelik Azerbaijan was published as a daily newspaper. The newspapers ceased their activity after Fatullayev's arrest in 2007.