April 7th, 2008

“Gundalik Azerbayjan” and “Realny Azerbayjan” newspapers’ Editor-in-Chief Eynulla Fatullayev stopped hunger-striking today.

Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety confirmed this with the Penitentiary System Public Relations Department. A spokesman there said that Fatullayev did not cite a reason for stopping the action. 
Fatullayev’s father Emin Fatullayev told IRFS, “Today I went with lawyer Isakhan Ashurov to visit him (ed. Eynulla). They would not let me meet with him. While I was there, OSCE Special Representative for Media Freedom Miklos Haraszti came. After Haraszti met with Eynulla, he announced that he stopped his hunger-strike, and said, ‘I will make my own statement about this.’” 
Ashurov told IRFS, “Haraszti has always displayed a principal position when it comes to defending freedom of expression. Fatullayev, who believes that Haraszti has always correctly reported on the freedom of expression situation in Azerbaijan, stopped his hunger-strike when Haraszti asked him to, but with one condition that Ali Insanov and Genimet Zahid also stop their hunger-strikes. 
IRFS notes that prior to Fatullayev’s decision to stop hunger-striking, more people had joined the hunger-strike today. Military Expert Janmirza Mirzayev, Popular Front Party Supreme Assembly Presidium Board member Rovshan Guliyev, “Gundelik Azerbaijan” Newspaper employees Salim Azizoglu and Nemet Huseynli, Democratic Party Youth Organization Chairman Jamil Hajiyev, Head of “Chagri” Youth Organization Ahad Mammadli, Citizen and Progress Party Youth Organization Chairman Nureddin Babayev and “Musavat” Youth Organization Chairman Tural Abbasli had all joined the hunger-strike action today, according to “Gundalik Azerbaijan” Newspaper Editor Uzeyir Jafarov. However the hunger-strike has now been officially stopped, based on Fatullayev’s decision.