Azerbaijan - Court breaks law by refusing to release journalist on health grounds -

    MONTREAL, May 28 /CNW Telbec/ - A Baku court yesterday rejected a request
for the release of Mushfig Huseynov, a reporter with the daily Bizim Yol, who
has had serious health problems since he was jailed in January 2008 for
allegedly taking a bribe.
    "Huseynov's state of health is grounds for immediate release," Reporters
Without Borders said. "The law requires it. Prison conditions in Azerbaijan
are appalling and do not allow detainees in a poor health to receive adequate
medical attention. The judicial authorities must reconsider this decision."
    Article 78 of the criminal code and article 167 of the penal code provide
for a detainee's release on medical grounds. The court's ruling nonetheless
means that Huseynov will have to continue serving his sentence in a Baku
    Huseynov was sentenced to six years in prison on a corruption charge on
21 January 2008. He was alleged to have accepted a bribe of 3,500 dollars from
an employee of the ministry of labour and social security.
    Two other journalists are currently detained in Azerbaijan - Ganimat
Zahidov of the opposition daily Azadlig and Eynulla Fatullayev, the editor of
two dailies, Gundelik Azerbaijan and Realny Azerbaijan. Sakit Zahidov of
Azadlig was freed on 9 April after being pardoned by President Ilham Aliev.

    Azerbaijan was ranked 150th out of 173 countries in the 2008 Reporters
Without Borders press freedom index. President Aliev is also on the Reporters
Without Borders list of "Predators of Press Freedom."

For further information:

For further information: Katherine Borlongan, Executive Director,
Reporters Without Borders Canada, (514) 521-4111,

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