January 29th, 2008

Imprisoned “Azadlig” Newspaper journalist/satiric Sakit Zahidov stopped his hunger-strike yesterday, January 28.

Penitentiary Service employee Elchin Jafarov told this to the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety this morning. According to Jafarov, in an application written by Zahidov himself, the imprisoned journalist said that he was stopping the action because problems related to his health will be resolved. Jafarov emphasized that doctors are being sent to examine Zahidov. “If any serious health problems are found, Zahidov will be transferred to the treatment facility,” said Jafarov.   
 At approximately 5 p.m. today IRFS contacted Ershad Hasanov, the chief Prison #14, where Zahidov is serving his three year prison sentence. According to Hasanov, today doctors visited Zahidov and examined him, however no serious health problems were found. Hasanov refused to answer a question about whether or not Zahidov will be transferred to the treatment facility. 
 IRFS also spoke to the Penitentiary System again at approximately 7:30 p.m. The person answering the phone said that they had no information that Zahidov had been examined by doctors. Calls to the Justice Ministry Chief Medical Department went unanswered.