We might be celebrating New Year but somethings in Azerbaijan simply don't change. Eynulla Fatullayev- 2009 recipient of Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)'s International Press Freedom award- who has been sentenced to 8.5 years of imprisonment for defamation, incitement of ethnic hatred, terrorism and tax evasion was charged yet again on possession of drugs in his cell at the prison where he has been serving his time.
This is not the first time when drugs are used to silence journalists. Back in 2006, another journalist was arrested- Sakit Zakhidov- who was sentenced to three years of imprisonment.
Eynulla Fatullayev was a friend of Elmar Huseynov- journalist who has been brutally murdered (2006) in his own apartment. Up to this day, no one has found those responsible, the case is on- going.
Fatullayev's attempt to uncover the murder ended in his own arrest that first started by a phone call to his mother who was told to "talk sense" into her son. After Fatullayev complained to the police, it was him who fell under the spot light, rather than those who called and threatened his family. This reminded me of Emin and Adnan's arrest, when after they were beaten up they went to the police to report on the incident and were arrested instead.
Somethings don't change really... And so, while we all celebrate New Year today, I would like to wish all those families whose sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives are jailed for raising their voices and making themselves heard be patient, and be proud of what these people have done. They took the chance and risked their lives, they said and wrote, and filmed and talked- they weren't scared! Let us not be scared and lets hope as we enter a new year that things do change...
Happy New Year!!!