Azerbaijan, Baku / Trend corr. A.Gasimova / An international human rights watch organization considers the court-ordered sentence given to the editor-in-chief of two Azerbaijani newspapers to be politically motivated. The organization demanded the release of the editor-in-chief, according to Holly Cartner, the director of the organization on Europe and Middle Asia.
Eynulla Fatullayev, editor-in-chief of the Gundalik Azerbaijan and Realni Azerbaijan newspapers was sentenced to eight years and six months in prison by the decision of the Heinous Crimes Court on 30 October.
The human rights watch considers such a verdict reflective of the government's growing hostility towards the freedom of expression of opinion and the freedom of the press.
The sentence was read in the Heinous Crimes Court of Azerbaijan on 30 October 2007. Fatullayev was charged with violating Articles 214.1 (terrorism), 283.2.2 (hostility) and 213.2.2 (tax evasion) of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan. Fatullayev allegedly did not pay tax in the amount of AZN 242,522.
Eynulla Fatullayev was charged as a result of articles published in his newspapers by the lawsuit of Tatyana Chaladzeh, head of the State Committee on Refugees and Internally Displaced People (IDP) on 20 April.