Human Rights House Foundation

Azerbaijan

European Court of Human Rights issues decision to release Eynulla Fatullayev

The European Court of Human Rights issued a decision regarding the case of imprisoned Editor-in-chief of Gundelik Republic of Azerbaijan and Realniy Republic of Azerbaijan Newspapers Eynulla Fatullayev.

Friday, 23 April 2010, by Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety

Image: European Court of Human Rights issues decision to release Eynulla FatullayevThe decision placed on the site of European Court of Human rights on 22 April, states that the journalist should be released immediately and the Azerbaijani government should pay 27,822 EUR to Fatullayev in compensation.

According to Trend News Agency, the Azerbaijani representative in the European Court of Human Rights Chingiz Esgerov issued a statement regarding the decision adopted by the European Court of Human Rights regarding Eynulla Fatullayev`s case.

He said that the action of the European Court of Human Rights to give instructions to the courts of other governments is groundless. "As we all know, the decision of the European Court comes into force within three months of its issuance provided that a motion is not presented to consider the case in the Great Chamber," said Ch.Asgarov. "In light of what I said, we believe that we will give the case to the Great Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights to support the interests of Azerbaijan Republic in the ECHR and to secure common practice in the application of the Convention."

Eynulla Fatullayev was arrested in the court hall on 20 April 2007 under the decision adopted by the Yasamal District Court on the lawsuit of Refugee/IDP Rights Defense Committee Chairperson Tatyana Chaladze.

After his arrest, a criminal case was opened against Eynulla Fatullayev in the National Security Ministry Chief Investigative Office regarding an article published in Realniy Azerbaijan newspaper, which according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, caused foreign citizens and representatives of international organs safety concerns.   
He was convicted under articles 214.1 (threatening terror), 283.2.2 (incitement of ethnic/national, social or religious hatred abusing authority) of the Criminal Code and was sentenced to pre-trial detention. Eynulla Fatullayev was then convicted under 213.2.2 (tax evasion). 

Eynulla Fatullayev was sentenced to 8.5 years of imprisonment on 30 October 2007 under the decision adopted by the Grave Crimes Court and was fined in the amount of 242 thousand 522 AZN. 

On 29 December, 0.223 grams heroin was found on Fatullayev. Eynulla Fatullayev and his lawyer assess this incident as an operation set-up to prevent the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) regarding the journalist in the near future. A criminal case was opened against Fatullayev in the Garadag District Investigative Department under article 234.1 of the Criminal Code (Illegal purchase or storage without a purpose of selling of narcotics or psychotropic substances in an amount exceeding necessary limit for personal consumption) and he was transferred to the Baku Investigative Prison #2 on 2 January. The investigation into the case was concluded and it is being considered in the Garadag District Court. 

Realniy Azerbaijan has been published as weekly newspaper, and Gundelik Azerbaijan was published as a daily newspaper since 2005. Eynulla Fatullayev established the newspapers and was the editor-in-chief of both publications. The newspapers ceased their activity after the arrest of the editor-in-chief in 2007.

Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety

Page navigation