INSTITUTE FOR REPORTERS’ FREEDOM AND SAFETY STATEMENT

April 11th, 2011
The Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS) strongly condemns the threatening phone call to the family of imprisoned editor-in-chief of Gundelik Azebaijan and Realniy Azerbaidjan  journalist Eynulla Fatullayev and assesses it as psychological tormenting against the journalists.

According to the journalist’s father Emin Fatullayev, a female stranger that spoke in Russian and introduced herself as a staffer from the Justice Ministry phoned imprisoned journalist Eynullah Fatullayev’s home at about 6:40 am Sunday morning. She told the journalist’s father, Emin Fatullayev, his son had been killed, and added the same would be done to his parents as well. Emin Fatullayev reported the incident to the police.    
IRFS believes that these types of threatening phone calls are directly targeted at Eynulla Fatullayev, aiming to keep him under pressure. Further, the fact that the intimidator introduced  herself as a Justice Ministry representative proves that it is of a provocative nature.
IRFS calls on Azeraijan’s law-enforcement agencies to immediately investigate the incident and punish the guilty. IRFS also calls on the Azerbaijani government to immediately release Fatullayev in order to abide by the obligations it took in the field of freedom of speech. IRFS calls on the international community to speed up its efforts to release Fatullayev.
FAMILY OF IMRPISONED JOURNALIST RECEIVES DEATH THREAT
The family of imprisoned journalist Eynulla Fatullayev received a telephone death threat yesterday. The caller also claimed that Eynulla had already been killed, the journalist’s father Emin Fatullayev told Objective TV today.
Emin reported that yesterday at about 6.40 am a woman phoned their house phone and introduced herself as a Justice Ministry employee.
“After she told us that Eynulla was dead, she said that my wife and I would also be killed either today or tomorrow. It took me 10 minutes to understand what was going on. Then I called the 102 police service. I reported the call and asked that it be investigated,” he said, adding that he is willing to meet with Interior Minister Ramil Usubov to discuss the incident.
Eynulla Fatullayev’s lawyer Anar Gasimov met with the journalist today. The lawyer told IRFS that he informed Fatullayev about the anonymous telephone threat to his family. According to Gasimov, the journalist sent an appeal to the Interior Minsiter Ramil Usubov and asked that it be investigated.
BACKGROUND
On the 29th of December, 2009, 0.223 grams of heroin was reportedly found on Fatullayev in Prison #12 and on the 6th of July, 2010, Fatullayev was found guilty under article 234.1 ( possession of narcotics) of the Criminal Code. His sentence of two years and six months in prison began on the same date. His appeal against the decision was rejected.
In 2007, Eynulla Fatullayev, editor-in-chief of “Realniy Azerbaydjan” and “Gundelik Azerbaycan” newspapers, was sentenced to 8.5 years in jail for threatening terrorism, amongst other charges. However, on April 22, 2010, the European Court of Human Rights ruled for his immediate release and financial compensation from the Azerbaijani government (27,800 EUR). The Azerbaijani Supreme Court Plenum has only partially fulfilled the decision.