FATULLAYEV SAYS HIS LIFE WILL BE ENDANGERED IN PRISON

February 9th, 2011
Imprisoned journalist Eynulla Fatullayev has sent a letter to the Justice Minister Fikrat Mammadov. Copies of the appeal, published in Azadlig daily, were sent to the Deputy Justice Minister, the Head of Penitentiary Service Nazim Alakbarov and Baku Investigative Prison Chief Elkhan Sadixov.

In his letter Fatullayev says that he has been involved in investigative journalism for 11 years, during which time he has written criminal activity and informed the Azerbaijani community of what is going on in the criminal underworld. Fatullayev questions how the sense in keeping him in the same prison with serious criminals and proponents of organized crime. Fatullayev claims his life will be in danger in prisons #1, 7, 11, 15 and 17.
At the end of his appeal, the journalist refers to Articles 72.3 and 12.3 of Code of Execution of Punishments, and asks to be transferred him to prison #9, where former court and law-enforcement employees are held. Fatullayev says he will go on hunger strike if this does not happen.

Justice Ministry Penitentiary Service Public Relations chief Mehman Sadigov told IRFS that the appeal will be investigated and relevant measures will be taken.
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 in an amount exceeding the limit for personal consumption) 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.