The Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS) condemns Azerbaijani government for not terminating the trumped-up criminal case against IRFS and Turan Information Agency correspondent and well-known multimedia journalist Mehman Huseynov and deems this step on the part of the Azerbaijani government as an intention to threaten journalists and to keep them under control.
On June 13th at 9:00pm Muslim Guliyev, the investigator of the Sabail District Police Office, told Mehman that the previous charge against him under article 221.1 was replaced with a new charge under article 221.2.2. Then Mehman Huseynov appeared before the court. After 3 hours’ hearing the judge ruled for his release, but Sabail District Police Office investigator Guliyev imposed a restraining order on Mehman.
The IRFS approves Sabail District Court ruling for the release of Mehman Huseynov, as the charge against Mehman is a political order. But the IRFS is concerned over the fact that the criminal case against Mehman Huseynov has not been terminated yet.
The IRFS believes that the government uses this method to put pressure on journalists and its aim is to restrict the freedom of expression.
The IRFS announces that the police behave aggressively towards journalists hindering their professional activities and even break their equipments.
The IRFS notes that the footages where police use violence against journalists will be submitted to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the perpetrators of this violence will be demanded to be brought to justice.
The IRFS calls on the Azerbaijani government to terminate the criminal case against Mehman Huseynov, to urge the police not to use violence against journalists, and to carry out legislative reforms to promote the protection of human rights, primarily the freedom of expression.