August 3rd, 2010
Today, 3 August, in the press center of the Institute for Reporters` Freedom and Safety, Khural newspaper Editor-in-chief Avaz Zeynalli conducted a press conference regarding the lawsuits filed against him and his newspaper.

Zeynalli said that several civil and criminal (special format) lawsuits had been filed against him and Khural newspaper in the last two months.

"In July, in the Narimanov District Court, Presidential Administration Head Ramiz Mehdiyev's civil lawsuit was fulfilled.  The court ruled that Khural newspaper must pay a 10,000 AZN fine.  If the fine is paid, Khural newspaper will be forced to cease its publication. As it is now, Khural is published with finacial difficulties,” said Zeynalli.  Zeynalli also added that Yeni Musavat newspaper Editor-in-chief Rauf Arifoglu filed both a civil and criminal (special format) lawsuit against him. He emphasized that when money was given to the newspaper because of the 135th anniversary of the national press, Khural newspaper and other weekly newspapers were not given financial assistance.

“In my article I used the expression 'press butcher' in reference to State Support Fund for Development of Mass Media under the President of Azerbaijan Republic executive director Vugar Safarli. Safarli filed a civil lawsuit against me demanding 10,000 AZN in compensation,” said Zeynalli stated. He added that all the lawsuits is part of a plan to cease Khural newspaper's publications.  

Zeynalli said that this plan was created by the Presidential Administration Public Political  department head Ali Hasanov. He emphasized that the plaintiffs in civil and criminal (special format) lawsuits are cohorts of this plan.

The Institute for Reporters` Freedom and Safety chairman Emin Huseynov wrote an open letter to Yeni Musavat newspaper Editor-in-chief Rauf Arifoglu requesting Arifoglu to withdraw his criminal (special format) lawsuits against Khural newspaper Editor-in-chief Avaz Zeynalli and Milletim newspaper chief adviser Faramaz Novruzoglu.

Zeynalli noted that he supports Huseynov and other media representatives' attempts at reconciliation. Arifoglu told one of his friends who offered a resolution that he is concerned about  Zeynalli's arrest, which Arifoglu asked for in his criminal (special format) lawsuit.  

"My friends want me to stop writing articles about Rauf Arifoglu.  I believe that if Arifoglu is concerned, he should withdraw his lawsuits, and then I will take the necessary steps,” said Zeynalli.

Khural newspaper was established in October 2002 and is published once a week.