September 1st, 2009
The Supreme Court upheld the decision of the Sabail District Court regarding the confiscation and destruction of the manuscripts of a book imprisoned "Azadlig" Newspaper Editor-in-Chief Ganimat Zahid was writing. The Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety was told this by Ganimat Zahid’s spouse Ayanda Mursaliyeva who visited him in prison #17 yesterday, 31 August.

Several days ago the Supreme Court sent the copy of the verdict to uphold the decision of the Sabail District Court to G.Zahid, according to A.Mursaliyeva.

“Ganimat wants to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights and hopes that the ECHR will solve this issue objectively,” said A.Mursaliyeva.
G. Zahid wrote a book about modern history of Azerbaijan when he was held in Bayil Prison. Bayil Prison Head Misir Aliyev took a handwritten 300 page-long manuscript from Zahid, claiming he wanted to read it. The manuscripts then were sent to the Penitentiary Services of the Justice Ministry. Later M. Aliyev stated that the manuscripts had pieces against Azerbaijani government, ex-president Heydar Aliyev and incumbent president Ilham Aliyev and therefore they were destroyed. G.Zahid filed a lawsuit against the prison administration and demanded that they be brought to justice and pay 1 000 000 (one million) AZN in compensation. Both the Sabail District Court and the Appellate Court issued a decision not to fulfill the lawsuit.
A.Mursaliyeva added that Ganimat suffers from leg pain, but does not have any complaints about prison conditions. Despite problems in his health, Ganimat is fasting.

In addition, Ombudsman Administration employees visited Ganimat Zahid in prison #17 several days ago.

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.