HEAD OF COMMITTEE AGAINST TORTURE VISITS E. FATULLAYEV IN PRISON

March 31st, 2008
Committee Against Torture Chairman Elchin Behbudov visited imprisoned “Gundalik Azerbayjan” and “Realny Azerbayjan” newspapers’ Chief Editor Eynulla Fatullayev today in Prison #12.

Behbudov told the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety, “The journalist is being kept in a separate room in the medical department of Prison #12. He insists on continuing his hunger-strike as long as he can. I asked him to stop the hunger-strike, but he did not agree.  I spoke to the medical department’s chief Namat Rahimov. He said that Fatullayev’s health is still normal. He emphasized that if the journalist’s life becomes in danger, he will force feed him as instructed. As I left the department, doctors arrived. The chief told me these doctors arrived to examine Fatullayev.”
Behbudov also noted, “In our conversation, Fatullayev told me he did not agree with the statement Gultekin Hajiyeva made about journalists on Public TV.” (Hajiyeva stated that the imprisoned journalists were arrested for concrete criminal acts.)
Recall that E. Fatullayev started hunger-striking on March 26, and is only drinking water and smoking cigarettes. He demands that all journalists and political prisoners be released, and that the Council of Europe and OSCE present a mechanism to Azerbaijan's society for resolution of the political prisoners and prisoners of conscience problem.