Azerbaijan, Baku / Trend corr. S.Ilhamgizi / The Azerbaijani Council of Press will submit an appeal to the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, the chairman of the Council Aflatun Amashev said to Trend agency on 10 December.
The Council is concerned at the ever-increasing number of journalists being detained and has appealed for the journalists to be released. Currently nine journalists are imprisoned for slander in Azerbaijan.
The request for a lawsuit was made by the reporter of the Public TV and Radio Broadcasting Company (ITV), Amina Rahimova, against the detained editor-in-chief of the Mukhalifat newspaper, Rovshan Kabirli, and journalist Yashar Agazadeh, as well as Mehrali Iskandaroglu, the founder, and Ilgar Valiyev, the editor-in-chief, of the Kriminal alam newspaper. Eynulla Fatullayev, editor-in-chief of the Gundalik Azerbaijan and Realni Azerbaijan newspapers was sentenced to 8 years
The journalists stated that they were detained because of their professional activities. An employee in the Azadliq radio ILgar Nasibov was arrested for 3 months. Although an agreement was reached on 4 December between the head of the Nakhchivan Police Office Sabuhi Novruzov and an employee in the Azadliq radio ILgar Nasibov, the complaint was withdrawn and Nasibov was again subpoenaed to court. Novruzov did not agree to become reconciled and urged for further consideration of the case. The judge did not offer an attorney for the journalist and did not allowing him to voice his case before sentencing him to 3-months imprisonment.
According to Amashev, the Council submitted an appeal to the Azerbaijani Internal Ministry and General's Prosecutor Office immediately after Nasibov's arrest in order to consider the case.
"We propose to give the journalists an opportunity and to investigate the case from the start. The Azerbaijani Union of Journalists, Yeni Nasil (New Generation) Association of Journalists, Najaf Najafov's Fund, League of Democratic Journalists and Committee for Protection Rights of Journalists 'Ruh' will monitor the press," Amashev said.
The Council proposed that the results of the monitoring be announced by those holding the monitoring. Initially the monitoring covered written press but this now includes an electron press as well.