On 6 July, Ayanda Mursaliyeva visited her husband, imprisoned “Azadlig” Newspaper Editor-in-Chief Ganimat Zahid in Prison #17. The Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety was told this by A. Mursaliyeva.
Ganimat’s health is normal and he does not have any complaints about prison conditions, said Mursaliyeva. Ganimat is not hopeful that his punishment will be reduced if they appeal to court because he has already served 1/3 of his prison term.
“Ganimat said that this issue should be technically solved by Sabunchu District Court and Justice Ministry’s Penitentiary Services; however, they are not going to do anything without government’s political will,” said A.Mursaliyeva. “Mentioning that the Press Council and several human rights organizations are also engaged in this issue, he said we should wait to see what happens.”
Ganimat Zahid 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. These charges are widely understood to be spurious and Zahid is considered a prisoner of conscience.