JOURNALIST SERVING CORRECTIVE LABOR CONCERNED

July 4th, 2008
Independent Journalist Vugar Gurdganli was called to the Binagedi District Department of the Execution of Court Decisions yesterday.

The department told the journalist that he must begin to serve his 1.5 year sentence of corrective labor. However Gurdganli informed the department's employees that he is currently only submitting articles to newspaper on a volunteer basis and he does not receive a regular salary.   In response to this, Gurdganli was informed that his documents will be sent to the employment department and that department will provide him with more formal labor (as repairman, laborer, etc.). Then the department will confiscate the appropriate percent of Gurdganli's earnings from his salary. Gurdganli said he would not agree to this, and expressed his willingness to pay the money owed out of his pocket, but the department would not agree, saying that Gurdganli must have formal employment and then pay the appropriate amount from his earnings.

Gurdganli said he does not understand this. "I am a journalist and can only write articles. I don't have any notion of working elsewhere. If this situation continues, I will conduct a press conference and express my position to society," said Gurdganli.
As a result of an article Gurdganli submitted to "Khural" Newspaper, he was sued by Yevlakh City and sentenced to corrective labor in which 20 percent of his earnings will be confiscated. This verdict was upheld by the Appellate Court.
According to Article 49 of the Criminal Code, corrective labor is the confiscation of 5 to 20 percent of a person's earnings for anywhere from two months to two years. During this period the person is not imprisoned, but can be imprisoned if they do not fulfill their duties.