On December 6th, the Media Rights Institute (MRI) released a statement condemning the illegal actions committed against lawyer Elchin Sadigov in Baku Investigative Prison; preventing the lawyer’s visit and thereby violating the rights of imprisoned Editor-in-chief Avaz Zeynalli.
The statement demands that citizens be allowed to exercise their rights to legal defense.
MRI states Sadigov was questioned and searched in the Baku Investigative Prison after visiting Khural newspaper editor-in-chief Avaz Zeynalli. The issue was not investigated and no measures were taken despite the lawyer’s protest and appeals. Illegal interference with legal activities can reduce their ability to defend the rights of journalists in need of legal assistance.
The questioning of lawyer Elchin Sadigov for confidential knowledge, documents, and notes constitutes a serious violation of the law "On Advocacy» of Azerbaijan Republic. According to law, a lawyer cannot be subjected to interrogation about circumstances regarding the implementation of his or her professional duty.
With regard to the implementation of professional activity, documents, proofs and gathered by lawyers cannot be taken by investigation and court bodies.
Necessary conditions should be created for arrested persons to meet with their lawyers to receive legal assistance and advice, and confidentiality should be guaranteed.
According to the Criminal Procedure Code of the Azerbaijani Republic, a lawyer has right to meet with his client alone, and to contact with his client confidentially without any limitation to the number and duration of conversations. Confidential contact includes not only conversations but also all forms of contact.