Azerbaijan, Baku /corr. Trend K.Zarbaliyeva / Amnesty International recognized editor-in-chief Eynulla Fatullayev, who was sentenced to the longest term of imprisonment in Azerbaijan, as 'prisoner of conscience'.
The editor-in-chief of the Gundalik Azerbaijan and Realni Azerbaijan newspapers, Eynulla Fatullayev, was sentenced to eight years and six month in prison by the decision of court. A sentenced was read in the Heinous Court of Azerbaijan on 30 October 2007. Fatullayev was charged of contravening Articles 214.1 (terrorism), 283.2.2 (hostility) and 213.2.2 (tax evasion) of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan. Fatullayev did not pay tax in amount of AZN 242,522.
The Chairwoman of Azerbaijan National Committee of Helsinki Citizens' Assembly, Arzu Abdullayeva, said on 1 November that Amnesty International has prepared an appeal to the Government of Azerbaijan for Fatullayev's immediate release.
According to Abdullayev, in addition, Amnesty International is preparing to recognize satirist Mirza Sakit as 'prisoner of conscience'. Mirza Sakit was charged of the contravening Article 234.1 (illegal keep of drugs) of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan. Sakit was sentenced to three years in prison.
The Appeal and Supreme Courts did not satisfy Sakit's appeal and remained in force the decision made by the first degree of jurisdiction.
Moreover, on 13 October Amnesty International recognized editor-in-chief of Senet newspaper, Samir Sadagetoglu and newspaper's journalist, Rafig Tagi, as 'prisoner of conscience'. The court sentenced Sadagetoglu to four years imprisonment and Rafig Tagi - three years imprisonment.
Sadagetoglu and Rafig Tagi were arrested in November 2006 for kindling national, race and religious hostility.
Eight journalists have been arrested in Azerbaijan for their professional activities.