Imprisoned Journalists Denied Medical Care in Prison

November 13th, 2016

azadliq qazeti

Azadliq newspaper reporter and Azerbaijani Hour TV programme host Seymur Hazi is denied medical assistance despite his health problems, journalist’s wife Nigar Hazi has reported. Seymur Hazi was arrested on 29 August 2014, after a fight with Maharram Hasanov. He was convicted for hooliganism under Article 221.3 of the Criminal Code and was sentenced to five years in jail by Absheron Regional Court on 29 January 2015. The decision was appealed, but Sumgayit Appeal Court upheld Hazi’s sentence on 29 September 2015.

According to Nigar Hazi, during her phone conversation with Seymur Hazi on 13 November  she learned that the journalist’s health problems were deteriorating.

“Despite the exacerbation of Seymur Hazi’s rheumatic pains, the leadership of Prison No.17, where he is held, remains idle. We were expecting that Seymur would be sent to the hospital this week, it did not happen. Seymur said the responsibility for all adversities happening to him lies with the government,” Nigar Hazi said.

Another jailed journalist, Azadliq newspaper’s distribution director Faig Amirli is also denied treatment despite his health issues, journalist’s wife Lala Amirli has said.

According to Lala Amirli, her husband suffers from a gastric ulcer. “He should be on a diet, but it is impossible in prison conditions, and the authorities do nothing for his treatment,” Mrs. Amirli said.

Journalist’s lawyer Agil Layijov said all the documents proving Faig Amirli’s illness had been presented to the Penitentiary Service, but no real steps were taken to provide medical care to the journalist, and as a result Faig Amirli had lost 20 kilos in jail.

Iftikhar Gurbanov, deputy head of the Chief Medical Department of the Ministry of Justice, said he would ‘would be focused on the issue’.

Faig Amirli was arrested on 20 August 2016. Employees of the investigating authority searched his car and house, where they allegedly found and seized Fetullah Gulen books. According to his lawyer, wedding video cassettes were also seized during the search. Amirli is charged with incitement and  encroachment of citizens rights on pretext of commitment of religious activities  under Articles 283.1 and 168.1 of the Criminal Code.