August 16th, 2010

On the 13th of August, in the Yasamal District Court, under the chairmanship of Judge Sardar Mehraliyev, a preliminary hearing was held on the criminal lawsuit of imprisoned editor-in-chief of Ideal newspaper Nazim Guliyev against Yeni Musavat newspaper editor-in-chief and founder Rauf Arifoglu and his first deputy Azer Aykhan.

The Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety was told this by the defendants’ lawyer Elchin Sadigov.   

Sadigov recalled that Azer Aykhan was acquitted regarding the articles in question and asked the judge to not accept the lawsuit for consideration.

The plaintiff’s lawyer R.Masimzade asked the judge to accept the lawsuit for consideration.

The judge issued a decision to throw out the criminal lawsuit.

Sadigov added that even though Yeni Musavat newspaper is located in Nizami district, Nazim Guliyev appealed to the Yasamal District Court because the newspaper is published in Azerbaijan publishing house which is located in the Yasamal district.


The lawsuit stems from twenty articles written about the plaintiffs that were published in ten issues of the newspaper since November 2008. The plaintiffs believe that they were insulted and defamed in the articles “Nazim Guliyev propagates PKK”, “Who is Behind Nazim Guliyev?”, “Nazim Guliyev Uses Beyler Eyyubov’s Name”, “Nazim Guliyev Is Going to Give 350, 000AZN Bribe to the Appellate Court,” and other articles. The lawsuit seeks for A.Aykhan to be held responsible under article 147.2 (accusing someone in grave or especially grave crimes) and 148 (insult) of the Criminal Code.  A criminal lawsuit regarding the same articles was filed in the Nizami District Court; however, the lawsuit was thrown out on the 18th of June 2010.      

Ideal newspaper founder Nazim Guliyev was sentenced to 6 months on 20 May 2009 under defamation charges. Later, Nazim Guliyev was accused under articles 182.2.2 (to demand by threats), 182.2.3 (when the demand by threat is committed through violence), 182.3.2 (when committed to appropriate a large amount of property), 221.1(hooliganism), and 234.1 (to illegally prepare, produce, obtain, keep, deliver, send and/or sell narcotics, psychotropic substances or their precursors) of Azerbaijan Criminal Code and was sentenced to 13 years, 3 months of imprisonment. After the arrest of N.Guliyev, Ideal newspaper ceased its publication. The Ideal newspaper began operating in November 1998.

Yeni Musavat newspaper has been published since 1993 and operates as a daily newspaper with a large circulation.