Journalists face police pressure before Sumgayit court

Today, Sumgayit City Court sentenced youth activist Jabbar Savalanli to 2.5 years in jail. Upon announcement of the decision, several APFP youth members and other youths protested against the decision voicing slogan “Freedom”.

Over 100 prepared undercover agents kicked off an attack on the youths and the journalists as well. All, be it male or femal, were beaten severly and several youths were taken to Sumgayit City Police Office Police Department #3.
The journalists also faced police violence while fulfilling their professional work. Radio Liberty employee Esmira Javadova, Turan Information Agency employee Parvana Bayramova and IRFS employees Abulfat Namazov and Fargana Novruzova faced physical assault from the police. The agents seized the camera of Radio Liberty employee Esmira Javadova and deleted all video and photos.  
Azerbaijan Popular Front Party member Jabbar Savalanli was arrested on February 5, 2011. He is being charged with drug possession, but it is widely thought that his arrest was politically motivated, linked to criticism of the government he posted on social networking sites. Journalist Eynulla Fatullayev is also is in prison for the drug possession.

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