INSTITUTE FOR REPORTERS` FREEDOM AND SAFETY STATEMENT

April 2nd, 2010
The Institute for Reporters` Freedom and Safety (IRFS) condemns the Ministry of National Security for summoning Media Rights Institute lawyer Elchin Sadigov to the Ministry and assesses this incident as pressure against the human rights defender.

Yesterday, 1 April, Elchin Sadigov was called to the National Security Ministry and he was asked to make a statement regarding the statements of imprisoned Editor-in-chief of Gundalik Azerbaijan and Realniy Azerbaijan Newspapers Eynulla Fatullayev. He told the Ministry that it is against the law to interrogate lawyers for their professional work and refused to make a statement.
IRFS recalls that two weeks ago Yeni Musavat Newspaper Editor-in-chief Rauf Arifoglu, Turan Information Agency Director Mehman Aliyev, Adalat (Justice) Party Deputy Chairperson, journalist Elkhan Shukurlu, Azadlig Newspaper Director Azer Ahmadov and Milletim Newspaper Editor-in-chief Faramaz Novruzoglu also were called to the NSM to make a statement regarding the statements of Eynulla Fatullayev about the murder of Elmar Huseynov. Most of them were warned against disseminating these statements.
IRFS believes that summoning Elchin Sadigov along with media representatives regarding the statements about the murder of Elmar Huseynov is a step taken to frighten the society. This way the administration is trying to scare people to not investigate Elmar Huseynov’s murder, and to divert the public’s attention from the government’s failure to solve the case.  
IRFS calls on Azerbaijan’s Ministry of National Security to end this pressure and to conduct a transparent and just investigation into Elmar Huseynov’s murder.
IRFS calls upon international organizations to react to this incident and demand that Azerbaijani government put an end to these cases.