GANIMAT ZAHID RECOMMENDS THAT SAKIT ZAHIDOV STOP HUNGER-STRIKE

January 19th, 2010
Yesterday, 18 January, Ayende Murseliyeva visited her husband, Azadlig Newspaper Editor-in-chief Ganimat Zahid in the Penitentiary Service’s Treatment Facility. A.Murseliyeva told the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety that G.Zahid suffers from rheumatism pains, but has no complaints about his general health and prison conditions.

A.Murseliyeva said that she showed Ganimat Sakit Zahidov’s poem for which Sakit went on hunger-strike. The editor-in-chief expressed displeasure after reading the poem and sent a message to his brother to stop the hunger-strike. G.Zahid said in his message that S.Zahidov has to adhere to the newspaper’s standards. Using this kind of pointless action can put him in a ridiculous position.
Sakit Zahidov expressed his attitude to G.Zahid’s letter. S.Zahidov told IRFS that the letter did not have any legal weight although he accepted it as a letter from his brother.
”G.Zahid is in prison now and he does not have any responsibility to manage the newspaper,” said S.Zahidov and noted that he has been having pain in his internal organs since morning and needs doctor’s examination.
On 16 January, Sakit Zahidov began a hunger-strike because the poem he presented on 11 January was not published in Azadlig newspaper. Azadlig newspaper chief director Azer Ahmedov said that there were insulting expressions in the poem and that is why it was not published in the newspaper. Sakit noted that the dictator regime was criticized sharply in the poem, but there were no insulting expressions in it.  
Ganimat Zahid, who has been recognized as prisoner of conscience, was convicted under articles 127.2.3 (hooliganism with intentional infliction of minor bodily harm) and 221 (hooliganism) of the Criminal Code and imprisoned for four years.      
Azadlig newspaper has been published since 1989 and operates as daily newspaper.