Azerbaijan, Baku / corr Trennd K.Ramazanova / Terry Davis, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, has appealed to the Azerbaijani Governm calling to clarify the accusation of a journalist of the Nakhchivan Service of Radio Liberty, Ilgar Nasibov.
"I am very concerned aout reports from Azerbaijan that journalist Ilgar Nasibov has been sent to prison as a result of a defamation case," he said in his appeal.
An employee in the Azadliq radio ILgar Nasibov was arrested for 3 months. The head of the Nakhchivan Police Office Sabuhi Novruzov filed a lawsuit on Nasibov. The journalist is accused of slander.
"I am especially concerned about allegations that the defamation case is the result of a private letter which was not meant for publication, that Mr Nasibov may have been denied due process of law, and that he has been ill-treated while in police custody," the appeal said.
He asked the Azerbaijani authorities to clarify what has happened in the case of Mr Ilgar Nasibov.
As a matter of principle, my strong view is that defamation should not be a criminal offence."
Ten journalists are detained in Azerbaijan.
Rovshan Kebirli, the editor-in-chief of the newspaper Mikhalifet, Yashar Alizade and an employee of the newspaper, Faramaz Allahverdiyev, an employee of the Nota-Bene newspaper, Eynulla Fatullayev, the editor-in-chief of the newspaper of Gundleik Azerbaijan and Realniy Azerbaijan, with charges of insulting and slander were sentenced to 2 and half years of imprisonment.
Ganimat Zahidov, the editor-in-chief of the newspaper Azadlyg is accused of hooliganism, wilful dame to health, his employee Sakit Zahidov in illegal preservation of drug, Samir Sadagatoglu, the editor-in-chief of the newspaper Senet and his employee Tofog Taghi are accused of heating racial, social, national, religious hatred and hostility.
Journalists say their arrests were caused by their professional activities.