A press conference was held at IRFS Media Center in support of Araz Guliyev, the chief editor of the xeber.com news website who was arrested in September. “The investigation into Guliyev’s case is deliberately delayed” was noted at the event.
Azer Guliyev, the brother of the arrested journalist, said that in accordance with the September 10th decision of the Masalli District Court, Guliyev was arrested for two months on charges of hooliganism (Article 221.2.1 of the Criminal Code) and resistance to representatives of authorities (Article 315.1 of the Criminal Code).
After two months the term of investigation expired. However the Grave Crimes Court decided to extend the pre-trial detention of the journalist and his other three comrades from the Kurdakhani Investigative Prison. Azer Guliyev fears that new trumped-up charges may be filed against his brother. Such things had happened to journalists, said the brother of the arrested.
Araz Guliyev was arrested on September 8th at a protest of believers against the international folklore festival in Masalli district. According to speakers at the press conference, a group of religious followers protested against the performance of half-naked dancers on stage.
IRFS director Emin Huseynov noted that the procrastination of the investigation into journalists’ cases is common in Azerbaijan, citing the case of the founder and editor of Khural newspaper, Avaz Zeynalli, who is still in jail in the absence of any court judgment.
According to Huseynov, there are many cases of violation of freedom of expression and opinion in the country, but not all of the potential prisoners of conscience and political prisoners or their families turn to human rights defenders, vainly hoping for leniency of authorities.