JOURNALISTS FACE POLICE PRESSURE IN FRONT OF NIZAMI DISTRICT COURT

June 7th, 2011
The Nizami District Court was due to hold a hearing today on the June 15th decision on a lawsuit against Yeni Musavat newspaper.

However, the hearing collapsed, after the newspaper’s lawyer objected to the composition of judicial staff. Lawyer Vagif Huseyn told IRFS that the reason for the objection was Judge Ziya Aliyev’s demonstrated bias, as experienced during the hearings held so far.
     Employees of IRFS and Turan News Agency were harassed by court security while they were trying to film in front of the court building. One of the security guards was physically intimidating towards IRFS employee Rasim Aliyev and attempted to seize his camera. He insulted the journalist and called the police to the scene, asking them to arrest the journalist. The police employees arrived and dismissed journalists Fargana Novruzova, Rasim Aliyev and Adalat Ahmadov from the area.
     The uncle of President Ilham Aliyev, MP Jalal Aliyev sued Yeni Musavat newspaper after an article published in January 2010: “Owner of the hotel which disappointed the President is found: Baku Hotel is owned by Jalal Aliyev”. On June 15, 2010, Nizami District Court partially granted the lawsuit, ruling that the newspaper should offically refute the content of the article and pay 1500 AZN in compensation (as opposed to the 50,000AZN that Aliyev applied for).