September 24th, 2009
Reporters Without Borders has released a condemning statement regarding the denial of an appeal for the early release of “Azadlig” Newspaper Editor-in-chief Ganimat Zahid on the grounds that he refused to take part in a volley-ball game in prison.

“The sole aim of the Azizbekov regional court’s decision is to keep Zahidov in prison as long as possible and prevent him from expressing his views,” Reporters Without Borders said. “It also aims to maintain the climate of intimidation against journalists.”
The full text of the statement can be found here:

According to the legislation, if the prisoner’s discipline was satisfactory during the first 1/3 of his prison terms and did not violate any prison rules, he/she might be subject to early release, or their sentence might be supercede by a lighter punishment. On 17 September Ganimat Zahid’s appeal was rejected on the basis of an opinion given by the head of the prison about G.Zahid. On the grounds that he refused to take part in a volley-ball game in prison, he allegedly violated prison rules.
Ganimat Zahid was convicted under articles 127.2.3 (hooliganism with intentional infliction of minor bodily harm) and 221 (hooliganism) of the Criminal Code and imprisoned for four years. G.Zahid is being held in prison #17.