The South Caucasus Network of Human Rights Defenders

Azerbaijan: Einullah Fatullaev goes on hunger strike with demand of his release
On June 2, the Garadag District Court of Baku chaired by Ismail Khalilov continued the litigation on the new case of the earlier convicted journalist Einullah Fatullaev, this time accused of illegal drug storage.

As reported by the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent, at the start of the session Fatullaev addressed the audience and said about his decision to go on hunger strike since today with a demand of fulfillment of the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), which ruled back on April 22 to immediately release him from prison.

The journalist asked his colleagues to go to the President's administration and inform the country leader about his demand. "I think that the head of the state is wrongly informed about my case and about me," he said.

Addressing the court, he said that Azerbaijani authorities were lying while asserting that they had lodged an appeal to the Great Board of the Strasbourg Court. "We were informed from Strasbourg that the Court had been waiting for the appeal for two months; however, the representative of Azerbaijan has not lodged it yet," said Fatullaev.

However, he urged his colleagues not to join his hunger strike.
Some time later, lawyer Isakhan Ashurov, Fatullaev's advocate, addressed the judge asking him to fulfill the decision of the ECtHR and release Fatullaev. Judge Ismail Khalilov said to this that he was considering only the case on drug storage and is not competent to make decisions on the previous cases concerning the defendant.

After a break, Judge Khalilov advised the journalist not to go on hunger strike, as it "may be injurious for his health." But the defendant refused and said that he would stop his hunger strike only after receiving an answer from the President's administration to his demand of immediate release.

Isakhan Ashurov said that the defence would also not like him to go on hunger strike but added that it was Fatullaev's personal decision.

The advocated reiterated his petitions from May 7 about holding examination of Colony No. 12, where the journalist was serving his term, interrogation of the anonymous informers, who had informed the colony administration that Fatullaev allegedly had drugs on him, and about an independent narcologic examination.
However, the state accuser said that he was not ready to express his opinion on the defence's petitions.

The judge appointed the next session on June 9.
The press service of the President's administration of Azerbaijan refused to make any comments on Fatullaev's statement about non-submission of the appeal complaint to the ECtHR.

In his turn, Emin Guseinov, head of the Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety (IRFS), told in his interview to the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent that on June 3, in the context of Fatullaev's request, members of journalistic organizations and leading media will prepare and send an official request to President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliev about non-fulfilment by his bureaucrats of the ECtHR's decision.

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