IRFS CHAIRMAN CONTINUES TO RECEIVE TREATMENT IN HOSPITAL

June 19th, 2008

Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety Chairman Emin Huseynov remains in the Central Clinic Hospital, where he has been recovering since June 14 from injuries he sustained at the hands of police.

Huseynov told IRFS today, “I have pain in my head and neck. Sometimes I experience dizziness and blurry vision. Doctors continue to treat me and I have symptoms of head trauma. But now I am eating.

Huseynov has had many guests at the hospital between today and yesterday, including Council of Europe office head Veronica Kotek, Council of Europe Human Rights Commission deputy director Alexandre Guessel, European Union Ambassador to Azerbaijan Alan Waddams,  representatives from the German, United Kingdom and Greek Embassies in Azerbaijan, IREX Baku office representative Shelly Markoff, human rights advocates Arzu Abdullayeva, Leyla Yunus, Novella Jafaoglu, Saadet Bananyarli, Saida Gojamanli and Chingiz Genizadeh, political expert Zardusht Alizadeh, journalism community representatives Yadigar Mammedli, Bahaddin Haziyev, Azer Ahmedov, Arif Aliyev, Aflatun Amashev, Rovshan Hajibeyli, Mehman Aliyev, Rashid Hajili, Megrur Bedelsoy, and Shakir Habiloglu, “Yeni Zaman” Political Party Chairman Musa Agayev, representatives of the political parties in “Azadlig” Bloc – Ali Kerimli, Lala Shovket Hajiyeva, and Ali Aliyev,  relatives of the imprisoned journalist Mushfig Huseynov, Ganimet Zahid, Sakit Zahidov, and Eynulla Fatullayev, members of Dalga Youth Movement, the Ernesto Che Guvera Fan Club, and Musavat Party Youth Organization, and students from Mustagil Azerbayjan University.

Yesterday, Norwegian PEN and Human Rights House disseminated a letter to Republic of Azerbaijan Prosecutor Zakir Garalov, about the use of force against Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety Chairman Emin Huseynov. In letter it is written, “The Human Rights House and Norwegian PEN condemned the alleged threats and beating by Azeri police of the human rights defender Emin Huseynov, a chair of the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS), Saturday 14 June 2008.[…] We ask the Azerbaijani authorities to ensure that the deputy head major Azim Karimzade of the 22nd police department of the Nasimi District, and the other police officers are held directly responsible for their unlawful actions. Finally, HRH F and Norwegian PEN ask the authorities to give Emin Huseynov compensation, which he has an enforceable right to as victim of detention, according to article 5 of the European Convention of Human Rights.”

The local NGO DEVAMM (Religious Beliefs and Freedom of Conscience Defense Center) also released a statement: “DEVAMM resolutely condemns the actions taken against IRFS (Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety) head Emin Huseynov, and assesses these actions as part of the campaign against human rights and freedom of expression,” DEVAMM writes in a statement it disseminated yesterday.  It is noted that attacks against E. Huseynov are continuous and systematic, adding, “It seems that somebody became seriously annoyed by Emin Huseynov’s principal position, objectivity, operativeness, courage and perseverance.”

International NGO Front Line said it is “deeply concerned following reports of the arrest and ill-treatment of human rights defender Emin Huseynov, in Baku on 14 June 2008. Emin Huseynov is the Chairperson of the Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety (IRFS) and works to defend freedom of expression in Azerbaijan. […] Front Line believes that Emin Huseynov has been targeted as a result of his legitimate work in defense of human rights, in particular his work to defend freedom of expression in Azerbaijan. Front Line sees the arrest of Emin Huseynov, Rasim Aliyev and Mirrehim Hasanov as part of an ongoing trend of harassment against human rights defenders in Azerbaijan. Front Line is concerned for the physical and psychological integrity of Emin Huseynov and all members of the IRFS.”