Appeal on Pardon of Imprisoned Journalists in Azerbaijan to be Reported to President: Head of Public and Political Affairs Department of Presidential Administration
Azerbaijan, Baku, 9 July/ Trend , corr E. Babayev/ The appeals on pardon of the imprisoned journalists in Azerbaijan will be reported to president.
"Appeals were made to pardon journalists in the fifth congress of the journalists. The Press Council has also made such an appeal and all these appeals will be reported to the head of state," Ali Hasanov, head of the Public and Political Affairs Department of the Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan said.
There are 3 imprisoned journalists in Azerbaijan. Eynulla Fatullayev, editor-in-chief of the Gundalik Azerbaijan and Realniy 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.
The editor-in-chief of Azadlig daily Ganimat Zahid has been sentenced to 4 years of jail and he is charged with inflicting harm to health and hooliganism. The writer for Azadlig daily Mirza Sakit has also been imprisoned.
The PACE President who visited Baku last week said that Azerbaijani authorities should pardon journalists until September. Otherwise, reporter on political prisoners will be appointed for Azerbaijan.
According to Hasanov, the authorities do no accept such imposing statements.
"The journalists in Azerbaijan have been imprisoned by the decision of the court. Neither the government nor the international organization can influence the court. Every court is free in its decision These journalists have not been jailed because of their profession. The Azerbaijani government can only pardon them," Hasanov said.
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