The Institute for Reporters` Freedom and Safety regrets that the lawsuit of Presidential Administration Head Ramiz Mehdiyev against Khural newspaper was fulfilled, and deems this decision as pressure against independent media.
Ramiz Mehdiyev’s lawsuit stems from the article entitled “Ramiz Mehdiyev’s plan against Bakhtiyar Vahabzade!!! Why did the Presidential Administration Head punish people and the Executive Administration head of Shaki?” that was published in Khural newspaper on 23 May, 2010. The plaintiff demanded that a refutation be published and 10,000 AZN in fines be paid and transferred to the account of “Umid yeri” Children’s House in Bina settlement. The lawsuit was fulfilled on 2 July.
IRFS considers the fulfillment of the lawsuit as a form of pressure against the newspaper because Khural newspaper has already stated that they were ready to publish a refutation regarding the plaintiff’s demand. IRFS believes that Khural newspaper doesn’t have the funds to pay 10,000 AZN in compensation, and this decision will create additional difficulties for the weekly Khural newspaper which already has financial issues.
IRFS calls on Ramiz Mehdiyev and an upper court request to withdraw the10,000 AZN compensation charge against Khural newspaper taking into consideration the newspaper’s plan to publish a refutation.