PARDONED JOURNALISTS SEND COMPLAINT TO EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS

May 26th, 2008

According to a press release disseminated by the Media Rights Institute, “Mukhalifet” Newspaper chief editor Rovhsan Kebirli and correspondent Yashar Agazadeh, who were imprisoned last year and then pardoned on 27 December 2008, have sent a complaint to European Court of Human Rights.

Kebirli and Agazadeh were imprisoned for 2.5 years by the Yasamal District Court on16 May 2007 on the basis of a lawsuit put forth by parliamentarian Jalel Aliyev, the president’s uncle, for libel and defamation. In their complaint to the ECHR, the journalists claim that the decision to criminally convict and imprison them was a violation of articles 6 (right to a fair trial) and 10(freedom of expression) of the European Convention on Human Rights. Therefore, they ask the ECHR to adopt a decision to recognize that the journalists’ rights have been violated, and issue a decision for the journalists to be compensated for damages they sustained as a result of J. Aliyev’s lawsuit, including legal expenses. 
J. Aliyev’s lawsuit stemmed from the article “AMAY – Aliyev family’s trademark,” which was published in the 24 February 2007 issue of “Mukhalifet” Newspaper.