INSTITITE FOR REPORTERS` FREEDOM AND SAFETY STATEMENT

February 3rd, 2010
The Institute for Reporters` Freedom and Safety (IRFS) strongly condemns the court verdict to sentence Femida 007 Newspaper Editor-in-chief Eyyub Karimov to 1.5 years of corrective labor today, 3 February.   

Interior Minister Ramil Usubov filed a lawsuit against Eyyub Karimov under article 147.2 (libel in accusing someone of grave or especially grave crime) of the Criminal Code due to articles “Letter fancier,” and “NSM and Chief Prosecutor’s Office know well who ordered it,” which were published in Femida-007 newspaper; and “Internal Ministry inside and outside of the game” published in Azadlig newspaper.

Yasamal District Court Judge Khagani Tagiyev issued a verdict to sentence Eyyub Karimov to 1.5 years corrective labor. E.Karimov has to pay 15% of his salary to the government.
IRFS recalls that several journalists in Azerbaijan have been sentenced to conditional imprisonment for their articles. All these cases contributed to the worsening of the situation of freedom of speech and press.
IRFS calls on Azerbaijan’s government to annul the verdict issued against Eyyub Karimov, to end persecution against journalists for their professional work, release all imprisoned journalists, and decriminalize defamation.