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The year was memorable thanks to relentless pressure and injustices against newspaper employees. “Gundalik Azerbayjan” Newspaper employees Shahvaled Choboanoglu and Uzeyir Jafarov stated this during a roundtable conducted today in the press center of the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety.
Chobanoglu recalled the arrest of Eynulla Fatullayev on bogus charges and the closure of both of his newspapers. “They couldn’t achieve the closure of the newspapers with the arrest of the chief editor, but they started provocation against us and tried to intimidate and pressure us from all sides. In the end, the National Security Ministry instituted a bogus case and confiscated our property. Thus we were forced to stop publishing the newspapers,” Chobanoglu said. According to him, Eynulla Fatullayev’s arrest and the newspapers’ closure were carried out at the will of President Ilham Aliyev. Otherwise both newspapers would still be open today, because there was the material, moral and technical resources for this. He added that the financial assets of the newspapers in the amount of 100, 000 AZN in different accounts were also frozen.
Uzeyir Jafarov talked about the investigation into the attack on him. The case was opened and then stopped on his beating. The journalist said that he obtained a court decision on this matter from the Investigation Unit of the Yasamal District Police Department only 10 days ago. He added that he faces threats and pressure, and fears he may even be murdered in 2008. According to him, Media Rights Institute Chairman Rashid Hajili and Lawyer Elchin Sadigov are preparing documents to send to the European Court of Human Rights. In the documents, the violations of Articles 6, 8 and 13 will be noted.
“Turan” Information Agency Director Mehman Aliyev said that 2008 will in fact be a difficult year for the journalists, and explained this noting the upcoming presidential elections.