MEDIA RIGHTS INSTITUTE RELEASES STATEMENT

October 8th, 2009
Media Rights Institute released  a statement regarding the sentencing of   www.fanat.az website project head Zahir Azamat and website sports writer Natig Mukhtarli under articles 147.2 (accusing someone of grave or especially grave crimes) and 148 (insult) of the Criminal Code.

In the statement, the Media Rights Institute calls on Azerbaijan’s government to annul inadequate decision issued regarding journalists, to pass a law on defamation according to European standards, and to carry out preparation of new recommendations for judges in the light of precedent of the European Court of Human Rights.
Yesterday, 7 October, Nasimi District Court issued  a verdict against “FANAT.AZ” sports website project head Zahir Azamat and website’s sports writer Natig Mukhtarli on “Khazar-Lankaran” Football Club President Mais Masimov’s lawsuit under articles 147.2 (accusing someone in grave or especially grave crimes) and 148 (insult) of the Criminal Code. According to the verdict, Natig Mukhtarli was sentenced to one year of corrective labor and Zahir Azamat to six months of corrective labor. The journalists have to pay 20 % of their salaries to Mais Masimov.