The OSCE's representative on media freedom has called on Azerbaijan to comply with a European Court on Human Rights ruling and release journalist Eynull Fatullayev from prison.
The editor-in-chief of the now-closed independent Russian-language weekly Realny Azerbaijan (The Real Azerbaijan) and Azeri-language daily Gundalik Azarbaycan, Fatullayev was sentenced in 2007 to a cumulative eight-and-a-half years in prison on charges on defamation, incitement of ethnic hatred, terrorism and tax evasion.
"My office has always demanded that Fatullayev's case be handled with two dimensions in mind - freedom of the media and due legal process. Now that the European Court of Human Rights has ruled in favor of the jailed journalist, there can be only one outcome - his immediate release," the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's Dunja Mijatovic said.
The European court ruled that Fatullayev's sentence was unjustified and insisted he was released from custody.
On 24 November this year, Fatullayev was honored with the annual International Press Freedom Award from the U.S. Committee to Protect Journalists. Around the same time, the European Parliament condemned Azerbaijan for its suppression of independent media.
VIENNA, April 22 (RIA Novosti)