MP Join Hunger Strike of Azerbaijani Journalists

Azerbaijan, Baku, 2 April / Trend corr. S.Ilhamgizi / MP Panah Huseyn and Rauf Arifoglu- the chief editor of the Yeni Musavat newspaper, have joined the hunger strike to support Eynulla Fatullayev, chief editor of Relani Azerbaijan and Gundalik Azerbaijan newspapers, protesting against the arrest of journalists, stated Shahvalad Chobanoglu, the chief editor of Gundalikm Azerbaijan newspaper.

On 26 March, the imprisoned Fatullayav went on a hunger strike. The editor-in-chief demands objective consideration of his case, release of the 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 Realni Azerbaijan newspaper, Eynulla Fatullayev.

Chobanoglu said Fuad Mustafayev- the Deputy Chairman of Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan and Avaz Tamirhan- acting chairman of Liberal party of Azerbaijan, will join the action soon.

Sardar Jalaloglu, chairman of Democratic Party of Azerbaijan, stated to Trend that Azerbaijanis living abroad took a decision to support the protest action of the journalists.

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. The sentence was read in the Heinous Crimes Court of Azerbaijan on 30 October 2007. Fatullayev was 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 the tax in the amount of AZN 242,522. Fatullayev was charged as a result of articles published in his newspapers by the lawsuit of Tatyana Chaladzeh, head of the State Committee on Refugees and Internally Displaced People (IDP), on 20 April.

The correspondent can be contacted at: [email protected]

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