Head of Regional Executive Authority Seeks Punishment for Journalist on Defamation Charges

October 31st, 2016


Rafil Huseynov, the head of Masalli Regional Executive Power, demands that cenubnews.com website founder and chief editor Miralam Hashimov be held criminally responsible. Rafil Huseynov has brought a private prosecution in court and wants Miralam Hashimov to be punished under Article 147.2 (libel that involves accusing someone of a serious crime) of the Criminal Code.

Rafil Huseynov has referred to an article and videos titled “Pensioners Protest in Masalli: Road Blocked” posted on cenubnews.com on 24 September 2016 as the reason for filing his complaint.

According to journalist’s lawyer Javad Javadov, there can be no talk of libel in the material that is the subject matter of the judicial dispute, and, moreover, there are videos confirming the fact.

“Honestly, I have read the executive power head’s complaint four times, but could not understand what he wants. The material published on the website is about the tensions over the lack of money in the cash dispensers of Kapitalbank that led to protests by those who could not withdraw their pensions. It was after the problem of money shortage was covered that the said problem was resolved. Also, there are videos confirming that this problem existed. What libel can you talk about here? On the other hand, what does it have to do with the Executive Power? Apparently, the purpose of the private prosecution is to discourage the journalist from his journalistic activity,” Javad Javadov said.

Background: Miralam Hashimov was sentenced to a 2,000-AZN fine based on Rafil Huseynov’s complaint in January 2016.