The South Caucasus Network of Human Rights Defenders

Erling Borgen’s Film about Eynulla Fatullayev Premiered
Embassy of Finland in Vilnius has hosted the presentation of the film by Norwegian filmmaker Erling Borgen about jailed Azerbaijani journalist Eynulla Fatullayev.

The event was attended by human right defenders from Belarus, England, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, and Sweden, Turan agency reported. The 28-minute film features the situation around media in Azerbaijan and in particular around imprisoned Eynullah Fatullayev, Azerbaijan's most prominent investigative editor and journalist.

Erling Borgen earlier made a film about Elmar Huseynov, chief editor of Monitor weekly, an Azerbaijani journalist, who was killed in 2005.

The filmmaker traveled to Azerbaijan this year, in May, to make recordings for a documentary about Eynullah Fatullayev. He was detained at the airport in Baku where the materials were seized. Among the items missing from the luggage were hard disks, memory sticks containing all of the sources of information, copies of video footage and photos, as well as documents containing background information for Eynullah Fatullayev’s case. The incident happened at the Heydar Aliyev International Airport when Borgen and his colleague were leaving for Oslo. Fortunately, all the copies were sent to Oslo long before the departure, as there were concerns about possible provocations, Turan agency said.

Eynulla Fatullayev, founder and chief editor of the now-closed Realny Azerbaijan and Gundelik Azarbaycan newspapers, was arrested on April 20 2007 and was sentenced to eight and a half years on charges of defamation, terrorism, incitement of ethnic hatred and tax evasion.

The Supreme Court of Azerbaijan denied Fatullayev’s appeal in June 2008, ending domestic legal avenues. Fatullayev appealed to the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights, which in tis ruling ordered Azerbaijan to free Fatullayev and pay him 25,000 euros in compensation.

Numerous international organisations backed the Court’s ruling and demanded to free Fatullayev. They called for Azerbaijani authorities to meet European Court’s decision. However, authorities of Azerbaijan filed an appeal in a bid to protest the ruling.

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