“PEN-CLUB” MEMBERS MEET WITH SAKIT ZAHIDOV AND FAMILIES OF TWO IMPRISONED JOURNALISTS

April 23rd, 2009
On April 21 “PEN Club” International Organization representatives Alev Adil and Eva Hoffman met with imprisoned “Azadlig” Newspaper Editor-in-Chief Ganimat Zahid’s wife Ayanda Mursaliyeva.

The Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety was told by A. Mursaliyeva that they asked questions about G. Zahid’s arrest, prison conditions and his destroyed manuscripts. A. Mursaliyeva asked the representatives to use their opportunities as an international organization and assist in G. Zahid’s case so it could be considered as a priority case. “PEN Club” members promised that they will try to help.
The representatives of the organization met with “Azadlig” Newspaper satiric/journalist Sakit Zahidov. They congratulated the journalist on his release from prison and asked him about his creative plans. Sakit Zahidov told IRFS that he told the organization’s members that his arrest was set-up. And then he talked about law violations that we witnessed in Prison #14.
Yesterday, 22 April, “PEN Club” members visited Emin Fatullayev, Father of imprisoned editor-in-chief of “Gundalik Azerbaijan” and “Realny Azerbaijan” Newspapers Eynulla Fatullayev. Emin Fatullayev told IRFS that club members asked questions about the situation of Eynulla Fatullayev, his prison conditions, and today’s situation of Azerbaijan’s press and pressure against journalists. “Gundalik Azerbaijan” Newspaper Chief Editor Shahvalad Chobanoglu and newspaper employees Natig Javadli and Elshan Balakhanli took part in the conversation along with family members of editor-in-chief. All three journalists talked about how of “Gundalik Azerbaijan” and “Realny Azerbaijan” newspapers were founded, their operation and closures.
Emin Fatullayev thanked club members for electing his son an honorary member of the “PEN Club”. Father Fatullayev showed the guests 12 thousand support letters and cards to his son from Amnesty International and talked about moral and financial support provided to his family by the New-York based Committee to Protect Journalists Coordinator on Southern Caucasus and Asia Nina Ognyanova and Head of “Reporters Without Borders” Elza Vidal. Then Emin Fatullayev gave the four books written by Eynulla Fatullayev to the guests as presents. Club members asked them how they can help the editor-in-chief and his family.
Mentioning that he met with president of Azerbaijan’s branch of the “PEN Club” Magsud Ibrahimbayov and Vice-president Chingiz Abdullayev, Emin Fatullayev said that C. Abdullayev has not been aware of Eynulla Fatullayev had been elected an honorary member of the “PEN Club” or countless support letters that came to his address. Expressing his regret about this, Emin Fatullayev told the guests about these issues.