August 19th, 2008
Today (19 August) lawyer Alayif Hasanov visited imprisoned “Azadlig” Newspaper satiric/journalist Sakit Zahidov in Prison #14.

Hasanov told the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety that during their conversation, Zahidov said his life is In danger. According to Zahidov, one of the prisoners was given scissors and ordered to kill him. He believes that the prison’s leadership is behind this, and the prisoner that was told to kill Zahidov even admitted this.
According to Hasanov, Sakit Zahidov immediately reported this situation to the Penitentiary, and authorized representative of the penitentiary service Emin Hasanov met with Zahidov and was concerned with his problems. Zahidov told him the attitude towards him in the prison is bad and he wants to be transferred to a different prison. Emin Hasanov stated that Zahidov’s appeal about to being moved to a different prison will be positively resolved.
Hasanov noted that prisoners who have contact with Sakit Zahidov also report facing problems. “The prisoners who have contact Zahidov are offended; for example, that their appeals about getting their punishment replaced with something different are not considered, and the appeals of prisoners, who have already served a certain part of their term, to be released are disregarded,” he said.
The lawyer noted that the prison leadership always refuses to move Zahidov to medical department and that he is only moved to the medical establishment during hunger-strikes. “In one word, they want to create an unbearable situation for Sakit Zahidov,” added Hasanov.
Hasanov advised Zahidov not to hunger-strike, but to use different means (to appeal to law-enforcement organs, to inform public). According to Hasanov, Zahidov won’t begin a hunger-strike today.
Hasanov said he will appeal to the penitentiary service to conduct an investigation and try to achieve dismissal of the prison’s leadership.
IRFS contacted the Penitentiary Service Public Relations Department Chief Mehman Sadigov regarding this issue. Sadigov stated that there is no danger to either Zahidov or other prisoners’ lives in the prison. He accused Hasanov of giving false information.