The police detains an activist. Photo: REUTERS/Aziz Karimov

19 March 2019, 20:51

Verdict to journalist Anar Mamedov provokes criticism of Azerbaijan

The case against Anar Mamedov, the editor-in-chief of the website "Criminalaz", who was subjected to a suspended sentence, should be reviewed, believes the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media. Having pardoned the sentenced activists, the Azerbaijani authorities are "freeing up places in prisons" for new political prisoners, states the Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety (IRFS).

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on March 18, the court found Anar Mamedov, the editor-in-chief of the website "Criminalaz", guilty of public appeals against the state, abuse of office, and official forgery and sentenced him to 5.5 years of imprisonment. The journalist complained about the fabrication of the case.

The court decision on Anar Mamedov's case "confirms the alarming tendency" of restricting freedom of expression and freedom of the media in Azerbaijan, wrote on Twitter Harlem Désir, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media.

The Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety (IRFS) criticized the verdict to Anar Mamedov. The IRFS regarded the pardoning of 51 political prisoners as "an attempt by the authorities to achieve support at the international level in order to reduce the threat of sanctions."

The IRFS also urged the US, Canada, and the EU to impose sanctions against Azerbaijani officials "involved in gross violations of human rights."

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on March 19, 2019 at 01:13 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Faik Medjid; Source: CK correspondent

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