March 16th, 2009

Today, 16 March, in the Nasimi District Court, under the chairmanship of Judge Ikram Shirinov, a court hearing was held on the lawsuit of the Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety Chairman Emin Huseynov against the Ministry of Interior, Nasimi District Police Department and Police Unit 22 of the Nasimi District Police Department for being subjected to police pressure. Emin Huseynov, his defense lawyer Elchin Sadigov, defense the Ministry of Interior Inspector on Main Tasks Farhad Azimov and defense lawyer of the Nasimi District Police Department and Police Unit 22 of the Nasimi District Police Department Mazahir Shabazov participated in the hearing.

IRFS employees submitted an appeal to the judge concerning taking pictures and filming the hearing. Lawyer Sadigov asked the judge to accept this appeal as a motion. However, the defense evaluated filming the hearing as influence on the court and demanded that the judge not permit this. Judge I. Shirinov conducted decided to allow photography throughout the entire hearing, but only allowed filming for five minutes.

Plaintiff Emin Huseynov said that on 14 June 2008, he was subjected to physical and moral pressure by employees of the Police Department 22 after being detained by police when an event conducted by a group of fans of Cuban sociologist revolutionist Ernesto Che Guevera was dispersed.

“I was subjected to pressure at the restaurant and in Police Department 22 where I was taken,” said Huseynov. “As a result, I lost consciousness and had to receive treatment at a hospital for more than 20 days.” Defense representative M. Shabazov asked the plaintiff specific questions in connection with the incident and the plaintiff answered the questions.

Witnesses that came to court to give statements were not interrogated because of lack of time. Judge Shirinov stated that the witnesses will be interrogated during the next hearing, which is scheduled to take place on 30 March at 3:30 p.m.