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Yesterday, 13 July, Gundelik Azerbaijan and Realniy Azerbaijan newspapers’ imprisoned Editor-in-Chief Eynulla Fatullayev, who is being held in the Baku Investigative Prison, was visited by his father Emin Fatullayev. The Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS) was told this by Emin Fatullayev.
According to father Fatullayev, Eynulla Fatullayev does not have any complaints about his health or prison conditions and he is waiting for the execution of the decision of the European Court of Human Rights.
On 29 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 6 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 was sentenced to two years and six months in prison, and the execution of the verdict 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 22 April 2010, 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. The Azerbaijani government stated that they did not agree with the decision and filed an appeal with the Grand Chamber of the ECHR.
On 20 April 2007, Eynulla 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 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 a pre-trial detention. 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 of the Grave Crimes Court and was fined 242 thousand 522 AZN.
Beginning their publications in 2005, Realniy Azerbaijan ran as a weekly newspaper, whereas Gundelik Azerbaijan was published as a daily newspaper. Eynulla Fatullayev established both newspapers and served as the editor-in-chief of both publications. The newspapers ceased their activity after the arrest of Fatullayev in 2007.