MEDIA RIGHTS INSTITUTE`S STATEMENT

March 17th, 2010
Yeni Musavat Newspaper Editor-in-chief Rauf Arifoglu was called to the National Security Ministry on 16 March, 2010. He was given warnings regarding articles published in Yeni Musavat newspaper related to imprisoned critical journalist Eynulla Fatullayev.

“Representatives of the special service organ used pressure against me and told me that I should not continue this topic, because those articles interfere with the investigation into the case of Elmar Huseynov’s murder,” said Rauf  Arifoglu.

Turan Information Agency Head Mehman Aliyev also was called to NSM. Turan IA published parts of the appeal written by Eynulla Fatullayev to the Baku Appelate Court, and some parts dedicated to Elmar Huseynov, who was murdered in 2005.

Although it is possible to question editors-in-chief legally to receive necessary information that contributes to the investigation of the murder of Elmar Huseynov, it should be considered interference in freedom of expression when they are told what to write and to not write.

Media Rights Institute director R.Hajili said that all the governmental organizations, especially the National Security Ministry, should deviate from taking steps to prevent well-known media organizations from exercising their rights to freedom of expression, including disseminating information which criticizes the work of high ranking officials. This can harm media’s work in a diplomatic society and can damage the implementation of the important role of media in a democratic society.

The Media Rights Institute is deeply concerned with this issue and believes that such steps will create fear for freedom of speech.