As of today, April 7, imprisoned “Azadlig” Newspaper journalist/satiric Sakit Zahidov, who was included in the amnesty act issued on 17 March 2009, remains in prison. Zahidov’s family, close friends and representatives from the press waited outside Prison #10 for hours today for the journalist’s release, but this never occurred.
Zahidov’s daughter Zulfiyya Zahidova told the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety that this evening her father called home and said that he would not be released any time soon, but rather after the conclusion of his entire three-year prison sentence, which ends on 23 June 2009. The imprisoned journalist also noted that there is a suspicious person at the person who is trying to provoke him, possibly in the hopes of inciting an event that will cause the journalist’s prison sentence to be lengthened.
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.