Azerbaijan, Baku / Тrend corr K. Ramazanova / The International Committee for Protection of Journalists (CPJ) is concerned about imprisonment of the editor-in-chief of Azerbaijani Ideal newspaper, who was also the founder of the newspaper, the committee reported.
Nazim Guliyev, head of Ideal, was given two-and-a-half years on Tuesday in Baku's Nasimi District Court. Ramiz Zeynalov, head of Azerbaijan's Interior Ministry Traffic Police Department, filed a lawsuit against Guliyev after Ideal published two articles on widespread corruption within the department in May and August.
"We are deeply concerned by the imprisonment of yet another journalist in Azerbaijan," said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. "Jailing Nazim Guliyev on defamation charges is an unacceptable response to his investigative work. We call on the Azerbaijani government to decriminalize defamation so that the country can join the ranks of democratizing societies, and to relinquish its new, disgraceful position as Europe and Central Asia's leading jailer of journalists."