PROTEST HELD IN LONDON AND PARIS DEMANDING LIBERATION OF EYNULLA FATULLAYEV

April 21st, 2011
 On 20 April, a protest action was held at Azerbaijani embassy in London.  The protesters demanded release of the imprisoned journalist Eynulla Fatullayev. The protest was organized by human rights defenders.  The demonstrators wore masks of Fatullayev’s face and chanted ‘Freedom for Eynulla!’.

The statement of organizations claimed Eynulla Fatullayev was arrested under the political charges regarding his criticism- investigative journalism work on 20 April, 2007.
Rebecca Vincent from Article 19 called on Azerbaijan’s authorities to fulfill the European Court for Human Rights verdict. She said the European Court made the decision to liberate the journalist and the Azerbaijani government had to comply with this decision. The protesters submitted their demands to the embassy.
A similar protest was held in front of Azerbaijani embassy in Paris by a group of journalists and human rights defenders.  The protest was organized by Azadlig newspaper correspondent Aghil Khalil.
About 30 protest participants hold photos of prosecuted journalists and chanted slogan “Freedom for Eynulla Fatullayev”.
The protests were dedicated to 4th anniversary of Eynulla Fatullayev` arrest.
BACKGROUND
On the 29th of December, 2009, 0.223 grams of heroin was reportedly found on Fatullayev in Prison #12 and on the 6th of July, 2010, Fatullayev was found guilty under article 234.1 ( possession of narcotics) of the Criminal Code. His sentence of two years and six months in prison began on the same date. His appeal against the decision was rejected.
In 2007, Eynulla Fatullayev, editor-in-chief of “Realniy Azerbaydjan” and “Gundelik Azerbaycan” newspapers, was sentenced to 8.5 years in jail for threatening terrorism, amongst other charges. However, on April 22, 2010, the European Court of Human Rights ruled for his immediate release and financial compensation from the Azerbaijani government (27,800 EUR). The Azerbaijani Supreme Court Plenum has only partially fulfilled the decision.