New York, Mar 3, 2017–Azerbaijani authorities should instantly release blogger and press independence advocate Mehman Huseynov, the Panel to Protect Journalists said today. The court in Baku today sentenced Huseynov to two years in jail on defamation charges for alleging that police beat him, based on his lawyer and media reports . CPJ called on prosecutors not to competition Huseynov’s appeal.
Five plainclothes policemen pulled Huseynov–who runs the widely read Facebook page having a history of critical reporting on Azerbaijan’s government and who runs the particular advocacy group the Institute with regard to Reporters’ Freedom and Safety–into a good unmarked vehicle the night of January 9 , according to media reports, human legal rights groups, and his lawyer, Elchin Sadygov. The following day, the Nasimi Area Court in Baku fined your pet 200 Azerbaijani manats (US $112) on charges of resisting law enforcement, CPJ documented at the time. Award – winning journalist Khadija Ismayilova told CPJ which the blogger’s face was bruised great shirt was covered in bloodstream when he was released from the courthouse.
During his The month of january 10 trial, Huseynov told the particular judge that police had defeated him, put a plastic handbag over his head, and tasered him, Sadygov, his lawyer, informed CPJ. The judge ordered prosecutors to investigate the allegations, but prosecutors in Baku on February one refused to accept his criminal issue against the police, according to local plus regional press reviews . Prosecutors did, however , function on a The month of january 12 criminal issue from Musa Musayev, chief officer for Baku’s Nasimi district, getting Huseynov with defamation for stating he had been beaten in guardianship. In a January 13 press release , the Interior Ministry said Huseynov’s allegations were “groundless” and “cast a negative light for the police. ”
Huseynov began serving his sentence meant for defamation today, and would charm the verdict, his lawyer informed CPJ.
“Defamation should not be a criminal matter, but jailing Mehman Huseynov for saying law enforcement brutally abused him is an especially obscene and cruel travesty associated with justice, ” said CPJ European countries and Central Asia Program Planner Nina Ognianova. “We call for Huseynov’s immediate release and for an end towards the grotesque prosecution of the blogger plus press freedom advocate. ”
Huseynov has frequently documented on official corruption and law enforcement brutality on his Facebook page, which usually more than 300, 000 people stick to, and other social media platforms. Shortly prior to his January 9 detention, he or she published a series of video reports upon Azerbaijani officials’ opulent villas. Upon February 27, he published a report critical of the appointment associated with Mehriban Aliyeva, President Ilham Aliyev’s wife, to the newly created placement of first vice president .