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“The Azerbaijani authorities have taken every possible step to ensure that Fatullayev remains in prison, wilfully misinterpreting a European Court ruling in his favour and ignoring international condemnation. His continued detention reveals a government utterly hostile to free expression and unwilling to honour its commitments to human rights”, said Natasha Schmidt of Index on Censorship.
Fatullayev, a well-known newspaper editor and investigative reporter, has been wrongfully imprisoned since April 2007 on charges related to his journalistic activities. In April 2010, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that his imprisonment violated his rights to freedom of expression and to a fair trial and ordered his immediate release. Rather than release Fatullayev, the Azerbaijani authorities proceeded with a new politically motivated charge of drug possession, for which he currently remains in prison.
The International Partnership Group for Azerbaijan welcomes the Committee’s decision and calls upon the Azerbaijani authorities to implement the European Court’s judgment in Fatullayev’s case by immediately and unconditionally releasing him from prison.