Three More Journalists Join Hunger Strike in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan, Baku, 3 April /corr. Trend KZarbaliyeva / Three more journalists joined the hunger strike being held to protest against arrest of the media representatives and pressure on the free media in Azerbaijan, the chief editor of Gundelik Azerbaijan newspaper, Shahveled Chobanoglu, reported to Trend on 3 April.

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, Shahveled Chobanoglu, editor-in-chief of Yeni Musavat newspaper, Rauf Arifoglu, editor of the newspaper, Zahid Safaroglu and journalists of the newspaper, Elshan Balakhanli and Zamin Haji, MP Panah Huseyn, Deputy Chairman of Azerbaijan Popular Front Party, Fuad Mustafayev and others have been holding hunger strike for four days to support the editor-in-chief of Gundelik Azerbaijan and Realni Azerbaijan newspaper, Eynulla Fatullayev.

According to Chobanoglu, the Director General of Turan news agency, Mehman Aliyev, and journalists of Gundelik Azerbaijan newspaper, Uzeir Jafarov and Chingiz Sultansoy.

On 3 April the editor of the Yeni Musavat newspaper, Zahid Safaroglu and journalists of the newspaper, Elshan Balakhanli and Zamin Haji stopped the strike due to serious problems and threats to their health.

According to unofficial information, the hunger strike is also held by the jailed editor-in-chief of Azadlyg newspaper, Ganimat Zahid, ex-Minister of Health, Ali Ainsanov, as well as Ruslan Bashirli, Rasim Akperov and Mushvig Madatov, who were recognized as political prisoners by the Council of Europe.

Chobanoglu said that 14 members of Azerbaijan Classic Popular Front Party went on one day hunger strike.

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.

The correspondent can be contacted at: [email protected]

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