Azerbaijan: Authorities respond to PEN appeals; journalists remain imprisoned

The Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC) of International PEN has received a message from the Baku Court of appeal, regarding the imprisonment of the Nota newspaper journalists Sardar Alibeili and Faramaz Nozruzoglu (Allahverdiyev) convicted on defamation charges for articles published in Nota. The message was a response to appeals sent by PEN members urging for their release. Sadly, their conviction remains in place, and should expire on 7 January 2010.

 

English PEN therefore reiterates its call for the immediate and unconditional release of Alibeili and Nozruzoglu, and all those currently detained in violation of their right to freedom of expression, as guaranteed by Article 19 of the United Nations Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Azerbaijan is a state party.

 

The following is the response PEN received from the Baku Court of Appeal, on 8 December 2009.

 

Dear Sir and Madam,

 

Your appeals filed in the Baku Court of Appeal through the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan, in connection with the criminal proceeding against Sardar Aliyev, Faramaz Allahverdiyev, and Ramiz Taghiyev, was examined.

 

It was established that pursuant to the ruling issued by the Nizami District Court, Baku, Republic of  Azerbaijan, on June 22 2009, Aliyev Sardar Mammadali oglu was found guilty under Article 148 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Allahverdiyev Faramaz Novruz oglu under Article 147.2 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan and each sentenced to 3 months of deprivation of liberty; under the same ruling, Taghiyev Ramiz Yusif oglu was found guilty under Article 147.2 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan and sentenced to 6 months of correctional work by way of levying 10% income tax for the state benefit.

 

Following the appeals made against the ruling of the court of the first instance, the decision, dated October 08 2009, made by the jury on criminal and administrative violations under the Appellation Court, Baku, Azerbaijan Republic, upheld the ruling, dated June 22 2009, issued by the Nizami District Court, Baku, on the incrimination of Aliyev Sardar Mammadali oglu, Allahverdiyev Faramaz Novruz oglu and Taghiyev Ramiz Yusif oglu, thus unsatisfying the appeals.

 

We additionally inform you that based on the inquiry in connection with the cassation against the decision, dated October 08 2009, made by the jury on criminal and administrative violations under the Baku Court of Appeal, the criminal case were referred to the Supreme Court of the Republic of Azerbaijan for review in cassation order.

 

Sincerely,

 

Baku Court of Appeal
Azerbaijan       

 

For the previous WiPC alert on Sardar Alibeili and Faramaz Nozruzoglu’s case, click here.

 

English PEN is grateful to all members who sent appeals in this case, and encourages them to continue sending them. 

 

Please continue sending you appeals: 

 

• Protesting the three-month prison sentences given to Sardar Alibeili and Faramaz Nozruzoglu (Allahverdiyev), editor-in-chef and journalist for the newspaper Nota respectively;
• Calling for their immediate and unconditional release, in accordance with Article 19 of the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Azerbaijan is a state party;
• Calling on the Azeri authorities to take urgent measures to ensure the safety of journalists and freedom of expression.

 

Send appeals to:

 

President
Ilham Aliyev
Office of the President of the Azerbaijan Republic
19 Istiqlaliyyat Street
Baku AZ1066
Azerbaijan
Fax: 994 12 492 0625

 

Minister of Internal Affairs
Lt.-Gen. Ramil Usubov
Ministry of Internal Affairs
Husu Hajiyev Street 7, 370005 Baku
Azerbaijan
Fax:  994 12 492 45 90

 

You may also wish to send copies of your appeal via the Embassy in London:

 

His Excellency Fakhraddin Gurbanov
4 Kensington Court
London
W8 5DL
Fax: 020 7937 1783 

Originally posted with the url: www.englishpen.org/writersinprison/bulletins/azerbaijanauthoritiesrespondtopenappealsjournalistsremainimprisoned/

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