GEORGIAN JOURNALIST WANTS ASYLUM IN AZERBAIJAN

January 12th, 2012
Lazo Lazarashvili, the editor-in-chief of the Georgian newspaper Metro has sent a letter to the President of the Azerbaijan Republic requesting temporary asylum. 

Lazarashvili spoke about it at a press conference about at the Media Center (IRFS) today.
“Azerbaijan is native to me and is close to my country. Azerbaijan has joined Geneva treaty and it has law on refugees as well. For this reason, I chose to seek temporary asylum in Azerbaijan,” said Lazarashvili. He also said that if his request is not granted, he will appeal to a third country.
According to the Georgian journalist, he feels that his life is in danger in Georgia.  He was sentenced to 9 months in jail and fined 5,000 GEL (2500 AZN) in 2009. Lazarashvili appealed to the European Court of Human Rights regarding his illegal detention and the decision issued on his case.  
“I was harassed to withdraw the complaints I filed with European Court of Human Rights. About 3-4 persons who introduce themselves as police employees were persecuting and threatening me. That’s why I had to leave Georgia” said Lazarashvili.  He also noted that he will go back to Georgia if his safety is guaranteed, and emphasized that he will not withdraw his appeals to the European Court of Human Rights.