Azerbaijan: Two journalists released

English PEN welcomes the release of the Nota newspaper journalist Faramaz Nozruzoglu (Allahverdiyev), on expiry of his sentence, and Bizim Yol correspondent Mushfig Huseynov, pardoned under presidential decree.


Faramaz Nozruzoglu, was convicted to three months in prison on defamation charges for articles published in Nota. He was imprisoned on 8 October 2009, and released from Penitentiary No. 16 on expiry of his sentence on 8 January 2009.  In the same trial, Nota journalists Sardar Alibeili and Ramiz Tagiyev, were also sentenced to four-month imprisonment and six-month conditional sentence, respectively. The charges against all three were filed by the chairman of the local government union Azadlyg Harakatchilari (Freedom Movement), who claimed to have been insulted in six articles published in Nota


Mushfig Huseynov was arrested on 24 July 2007 and sentenced to six years in prison the following January on charges of ‘accepting a bribe’. His conviction was reduced on appeal to five years. On 25 December 2009 Huseynov was pardoned under a presidential decree, and was released the following day from the Penitentiary Services Specialised Treatment Facility for Prisoners with Tuberculosis, where he spend the last couple of months, as his health had deteriorated considerably in prison. 


Although we welcome these releases, English PEN remains deeply concerned about 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, in particular Honorary Member Eynulla Fatullayev. We continue to call for their immediate and unconditional release.


Further information:


 – For the latest WiPC alert on Fatullayev, please click here
 – For the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) appeal to free Fatullayev, click here
 – For the BBC’s country profile on Azerbaijan, see here.

Please continue sending you appeals: 

• Welcoming the release of journalists Faramaz Nozruzoglu and Mushfig Huseynov;
• Calling for the immediate and unconditional release of writers and journalists currently detained in Azerbaijan, in violation of Article 19 of the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Azerbaijan is a state party;
• Urging 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
Fax: 994 12 492 0625


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


You may also wish to send copies of your appeal to the Azerbaijan Embassy in London:
His Excellency Fakhraddin Gurbanov
Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan
4, Kensington Court
London W8 5DL
Fax: 020 7937 1783

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