LAWSUIT OPENED BY NGOS, HAJIZADE AND FATULLAYEV IS POSTPONED

April 18th, 2011
Today, April 18th, the Baku Administrative Economic Court failed to hear the lawsuit filed by Legal Awareness Society, Media Rights Institute, Azerbaijan Barristers Association, Democracy and Human Rights Resources Center, Tender Monitoring Center, Adnan Hajizade and imprisoned journalist Eynulla Fatullayev against the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry’s Penitentiary Service.

Namely, the leaders of the said NGOs and media representatives arrived at the court at 11 am, but the Judge Fagan Ahmadov’s secretary announced at 12.25 that the process is postponed indefinitely due to the Judge’s health problems.
The heads of the aforementioned NGOs appealed to the Justice Ministry in August, 2010, to meet with imprisoned journalist Eynulla Fatullayev, bloggers Adnan Hajizade and Emin Abdullayev. The Ministry refused to respond to them. Later an appeal was sent to the Justice Ministry Penitentiary Service and the Public Committee on Supervision over Penitentiary Service. However the said bodies each cited that they had no power to grant permission.
BACKGROUND
On the 29th of December, 2009, 0.223 grams of heroin was reportedly found on Fatullayev in Prison #12 and on the 6th of July, 2010, Fatullayev was found guilty under article 234.1 ( possession of narcotics) of the Criminal Code. His sentence of two years and six months in prison began on the same date. His appeal against the decision was rejected.
In 2007, Eynulla Fatullayev, editor-in-chief of “Realniy Azerbaydjan” and “Gundelik Azerbaycan” newspapers, was sentenced to 8.5 years in jail for threatening terrorism, amongst other charges. However, on April 22, 2010, the European Court of Human Rights ruled for his immediate release and financial compensation from the Azerbaijani government (27,800 EUR). The Azerbaijani Supreme Court Plenum has only partially fulfilled the decision.