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Imprisoned Editor-in-chief of Realniy Azerbaijan and Gundelik Azerbaijan newspapers
Eynulla Fatullayev’s lawyer Elchin Sadigov told the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom
and Safety (IRFS) that Fatullayev's appeal against the latest verdict that was issued
on 6 July has been accepted for consideration. Sadigov added that Judge Mirpasha
Huseynov will consider the appeal and that they are waiting for the notification letter
about the date of the hearing.
On 20 April 2007, Fatullayev was arrested in the court hall under the decision adopted
by the Yasamal District Court on the lawsuit of Refugee/IDP Rights Defense Committee
chairperson Tatyana Chaladze.After his arrest, a criminal case was opened against
Fatullayev in the National Security Ministry Chief Investigative Office regarding an
article published in Realniy Azerbaijan newspaper, which according to the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs caused foreign citizens and representatives of international
organizations concerns about their safety. He was convicted under articles 214.1
(threatening terror), 283.2.2 (incitement of ethnic/national, social or religious hatred
abusing authority) of the Criminal Code and was sentenced to a pre-trial detention.
Fatullayev was then convicted under 213.2.2 (tax evasion). Fatullayev was sentenced
to 8.5 years of imprisonment on 30 October 2007 and was fined 242 thousand 522 AZN
under the decision of the Grave Crimes Court.
On 29 December 2009, 0.223 grams of heroin was found on Fatullayev in Prison #12.
A criminal case was opened against Fatullayev in the Garadag District Investigative
Department. On 6 July 2010, Fatullayev was found guilty under article 234.1 (Illegal
purchase or storage without a purpose of selling of narcotics or psychotropic
substances in an amount exceeding the necessary limit for personal consumption) of
the Criminal Code and his sentence of to two years and six months in prison began
on this date. Fatullayev and his lawyer believe that this incident was a set-up in order
for the court to not comply with the decision of the European Court of Human Rights
(ECHR) regarding the journalist's release.
On 22 April 2010, the ECHR issued a decision that Fatullayev should be released
immediately, and that the Azerbaijani government should pay 27,822 EUR to Fatullayev
in compensation. The Azerbaijani government filed an appeal with the Grand Chamber
of the ECHR regarding this decision.
Fatullayev was the Editor-and-chief of both Realniy Azerbaijan and Gundelik Azerbaijan
newspapers. Beginning their publications in 2005, Realniy Azerbaijan ran as a weekly
newspaper, whereas Gundelik Azerbaijan was published as a daily newspaper.
Fatullayev established both newspapers. The newspapers ceased their activity after the
arrest of Fatullayev in 2007.