JOURNALISTS’ SEND ONE MORE TO EUROPEAN COURT

July 25th, 2008
According to the Media Rights Institute (MRI), journalists (Rauf Arifoglu, Azer Aykhan, Etibar Agayev, Elshad Mammadli, Zabil Mugabilolglu, Ganimat Zahid, Shahvalad Chobanoglu, and Mehman Aliyev) who tried to conduct a protest action on 12 June 2007 against attacks on the media, sent an appeal to the European Human Rights Court.

Recall that the journalists were subjected to physical violence by Sabail District Police Department employees during the action, and Rauf Arifoglu, Ganimat Zahid, Zabil Mugabiloglu, and Shahvalad Chobanoglu were detained through the use of force. The journalists appealed to court and asked the court to adopt a decision to consider police interference illegal, to open a criminal case against police employees who used force against journalists, and to award the journalists 10,000 AZN in compensation. However, the Sabail District Court refused to consider the lawsuit on 20 July 2007, and the Appellate Court (18 September 2007) and Supreme Court (10 January 2008) upheld the Sabail District Court’s decision.
MRI Director Rashid Hajili, MRI employees Khalid Agaliyev and Elchin Sadigov are defending the journalists’ rights. It is noted in the appeal that the country courts violated European Court Human Rights Convention articles 3 (prohibition of torture), 6 (right to fair investigation), 11 (freedom of assembly and unity) and 13 (effective means of right defense) when they adopted decisions on the journalists’ lawsuits. The European Court is asked to recognize the violation of journalists’ rights, and to issue a decision to give the journalist compention for their expenses and losses.
In 2007 a group of journalists (Elshad Mammadli,  Elshan Mammadaliyev,  Tarana Kazimova,  Fikrat Huseynli,  Chingiz Sultansoy, Haji Zeynalov,  Vazeh Mehdiyev, Sabuhi Nasibov) who were not let into former health minister Ali Insanov’s court hearing also appealed to the European Court of Human Rights.