Friday, April 23

Freedom to Eynulla Fatullayev

On April 22nd, European Court of Human Rights ordered release of journalist and editor- in- chief of Realniy Azerbaijan, Eynulla Fatullayev.

Based on the ruling, the government also needs to pay 25,000 EUR in compensation for non- pecuniary damage and additional 2,822 EUR for costs and expenses.

The OSCE representative on media freedom also called on Azerbaijan to comply with the decision and release Eynulla from prison where he is currently being held.

Government reaction:

Official representative of the Azerbaijani Republic to the European Court of Human Rights Cingiz Askerov stated that it is groundless to give instructions to courts of this or any other state by the ECHR. According to Askerov, ECHR's demand for the release was "inadmissible in terms of the regulations of the European Convention on Human Rights and Azerbaijan legislation". In fact, he added that Azerbaijan will be requesting that the case is transferred to the Grand Chamber of the European Court*.

The fact that Azerbaijan authorities are reacting this way and are putting so much effort into this case, openly reflects government's unhappiness with regard to the decision. Moreover, it clearly illustrates that the authorities are ready to do whatever it takes to prevent release of Eynulla Fatullayev. After all, he did get an add additional 3 years, simply because someone just wanted to do so.

Its going to be an interesting period to observe- what happens with this case and whether this specific case sets an example of justice or if it doesn't change anything at all.

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