Azerbaijani Human Right Activist Joins Media Hunger Strike
Azerbaijan, Baku, 31 March / corr. Trend I. Alizade/ The Azerbaijani human rights activist has joined a hunger strike held in a support of Eynulla Fatullayev, the imprisoned editor-in-chief of Gundalik Azerbaijan and Realniy Azerbaijan newspapers.
"Arzu Abdullayeva, the Head of Committee for Protection of Freedom of Expression, has joined the hunger strike today," Shahvalad Chobanoglu, the chief editor of Gundalik Azerbaijan said to Trend on 31 March.
On 26 March, the imprisoned Fatullayav went on a hunger strike. The editor-in-chief demands objective consideration of his case, release of arrested journalists and application of concrete protection mechanisms of the Council of Europe and OSCE.
The chief editor of Gundelik Azerbaijan newspaper, Shahvalad Chobanoglu, editor-in-chief of Yeni Musavat newspaper, Zahid Safaroglu and journalist of the newspaper, Elshan Balakhanli, are on a hunger strike for the five consecutive days to support the editor-in-chief of Gundalik Azerbaijan and Realniy Azerbaijan newspaper, Eynulla Fatullayev.
Asif Shakiroglu, the chairman of Democratic Youth Movement stopped the hunger strike on 31 March.
Chobanoglu said that besides Arzu Abdullayeva, Aynur Elgunesh- the employee of Gundalik Azerbaijan has also joined the hunger strike.
"The condition of Natig Javadli, who is on a hunger strike, is still serious. His blood pressure went down sharply. The blood pressure of other strikers has gone down as well and they are weak, in spite of it, no one is going to stop the hunger strike," the chief editor said.
According to Arzu Abdullayeva, she and Elgunesh will go on one-day strike. According to Abdullayeva, they will join the hunger strikers once again after several days. "We support the demands of the journalists. The pressures upon the media must stop and political prisoners must be freed," Abdullayeva said.
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. Fatullayev is 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. At present, there are three detained journalists in Azerbaijan. They are Fatullayev, Ganimat Zahid- chief editor of Azadlig newspaper and his brother Mirza Sakit.