Azerbaijani Press Council Appeals President to Pardon Imprisoned Journalists
Azerbaijan, Baku, 14 July/ Trend , corr E. Babayev/ The Press Council of Azerbaijan has appealed President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev to pardon three imprisoned journalists.
"We hope that Mr. President will help release them. The appeal to pardon journalists is also included in the resolution of the fifth congress of journalists of Azerbaijan held on 20 July and we have made this appeal to President as well," Alflatun Amashov, chairman of Press Council said to Trend .
The Day of National Media is marked in Azerbaijan on 22 July.
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.
According to Amashov, one of the key conditions for pardon is the appeal of the imprisoned journalists to President. "I do not have any information about the appeal of the imprisoned journalists," he said.
The Press Council of Azerbaijan was founded on 15 March 2003 in the first congress of journalists of Azerbaijan. Aflatun Amashov has been running the Council since its establishment.
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