Ombudsman Elmira Suleymanova responded to the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety’s (IRFS) appeal.
IRFS stated in the appeal that the Baku Appellate Court Judge Jamila Safiyeva did not allow monitors and journalists to participate in the open hearing, and journalists and other observers were not allowed to enter the Supreme Court buildings, the Baku Appellate Court, the Yasamal and Sebail District Courts with photo and video cameras.
“A survey was sent to the Appellate Court regarding the failure of the Baku Appellate Court Judge Jamila Safiyeva to allow journalists and observers, and the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety employee to participate in the open hearing on 24 June 2010, as it was shown in your appeal. You will be informed additionally regarding the result of this survey,” read Ombudsman's response.
The letter stated, “In response to your appeal submitted to the Azerbaijan Republic Commissioner on Human Rights (Ombudsman) Administration on 29 June 2009: In open cases and hearings, people have the right to take notes in the written form during proceedings from their seat., People may use a computer after they receive permission from the judge. This is in accordance with article 176.5 of the Azerbaijan Republic Civil Procedural Code. Permission to record audio and film and to take photos and video, including live broadcasting (and mobile communication) is given after the opinions of people participating in the hearing are considered and after the judge’s permission given”
IRFS recalls that Baku Appellate Court Judge Jamila Safiyeva did not allow observers and journalists to participate in the hearings held on the appeal of student journalist Elmin Bedelov who was dismissed from the Azerbaijan State Oil Academy (ASOA).