SAKIT ZAHIDOV NOT RELEASED FROM PRISON TODAY

April 6th, 2009
Imprisoned “Azadlig” Newspaper satiric/journalist Sakit Zahidov’s name was included in the amnesty act adopted by Milli Mejlis on 17 March 2009.

Today, Zahidov’s wife Rena Zahidova informed the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety that this morning Sakit Zahidov called home at approximately 11 a.m. and said he would finally be released from prison in connection with the amnesty act. However, as of 8 p.m. the journalist had not been released and the official working day had ended.
Prison #10 Registration Department Chief Sanan Mammedov told IRFS that the prison chief has signed all documents necessary for Zahidov’s release, however documents that must be signed by the Baku City Prosecutor’s Office are not ready yet. According to Mammedov, once these documents are signed by the Baku City Prosecutor’s Office, Sakit Zahidov can be released.
IRFS contacted the Baku City Prosecutor’s Office, however the office refused to answer any questions on this matter.
Sakit Zahidov was arrested on 23 June 2006 for possession of narcotics (this charge is widely understood to be spurious) and was sentenced to three years of imprisonment by the Grave Crimes Court.