OSCE MEDIA FREEDOM REPRESENTATIVE URGES AZERBAIJAN TO CEASE INTIMIDATION OF IMPRISONED JOURNALIST

March 10th, 2011
The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatović, called today for the government of Azerbaijan to put an end to the systematic intimidation of jailed journalist Eynulla Fatullayev, and to uphold its OSCE media-freedom commitments and comply with the European Court of Human Rights’ (ECtHR) ruling for his immediate release.

On 2 March, the former editor in chief of the Realny Azerbaijan and Gündalik Azerbaycan newspapers was transferred to Prison No. 1 in Baku, despite his appeal to the Justice Ministry to serve his jail term in another detention facility in which he would feel safer. Citing potential threats to his life in Prison No. 1, Fatullayev asked to be put in solitary confinement.
“I am deeply concerned for Fatullayev’s safety and deteriorating health, and seriously worried about reports that his family has received a number of anonymous threats,” said Mijatović. “I call upon the Azerbaijani authorities to ensure the safety of Fatullayev and his relatives.”
“Not only are the Azerbaijani authorities ignoring the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights, but they are continuing to systematically harass Fatullayev,” said Mijatović. “This must stop at once, and Fatullayev must be set free without further delay.”