June 24th, 2008

Today (24 June) a group of journalists (the journalists of “525 Gazet”, “Interpolis,” “Azadlig” and “Yeni Musavat” newspapers) were not permitted in an appellate court hearing conducted under the chairmanship of Appellate Court Judge Mirpasha Huseynov on a complaint put forth by former Economic Development Minister Farhad Aliyev and several other people.

The police in front of the court told the journalists that the judge ordered them not to let the journalists into the hearing. The journalists who weren’t permitted in the hearing told this to the Institute for reporters’ Freedom and Safety. However, they didn’t want their names to be published. They said that they won’t be allowed in the other Appellate Court hearings if their names are mentioned.

Appellate Court Press Service head Konul Aliyeva confirmed this news and told the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety that it happened as a result of a misunderstanding. “Last time TV channels exceeded the time limit for filming the hearing; that is why a ban only video recording was put in place this hearing. Police misunderstood this and didn’t allow any journalists into the hearing.  By the time I was able to intervene, the hearing had already started. This was a pure misunderstanding,” she said.

Aliyeva added that she is ready to inform all the journalists who contact her about the hearing and emphasized that this kind of problem won’t come up during the next hearing.