May 26th, 2008

Today (26 May) an Appellate Court hearing was conducted on against the verdict issued by the Sabail District Court on a lawsuit put forth by “Azadlig” newspaper editor-in-chief Ganimat Zahid and others against the Sabail District Police Department and Baku Executive Administration.

The lawsuit alleged violation of the right to freedom of assembly, violation of the rights to freedom of expression and subjection to inhuman treatment.  Judge Hilal Khalilov presided over the hearing. 
In the hearing, only one person, Sabail District Police department representative Aladdin Asgarov, participated. The hearing lasted approximately 10 minutes and Judge Khalilov issued a decision to uphold the lower court’s decision. 
Recall that on 17 April and 15 May 2007 Zahid and a number of journalists attempted to conduct a protest in Sabir Garden to protest against attacks on journalists and pressure on the press. The action was not sanctioned by Baku’s Executive Administration and police dispersed the protesters using force and detaining some participants. As a result of this, on 23 July 2007 the Sabail District Court adopted a decision to leave the case unconsidered, alleging that some of the submitted documents being incorrect. Then an appeal was made. The judge in the Appellate Court didn’t fulfill the claim. Then a cassation complaint was filed against the decision. The Supreme Court annulled the decision and adopted a decision to send the case back to the Sabail District Court for reconsideration. On 16 April 2008 during a hearing the judge in the Sabail District Court issued a decision that the decision to return the case to the lower court was unfounded.