01 July 2022, 12:55
ECtHR awards compensation of 1500 euros to editor-in-chief of Azerbaijani publication
The Strasbourg Court points out that the payment ordered by the Azerbaijani court in a defamation lawsuit against the “Azadlyg” publication and its editor-in-chief Ganimat Zayidov, known under the pseudonym Ganimat Zakhid, was a violation of freedom of expression. The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) obliged the country’s authorities to pay Ganimat Zakhid 1500 euros. Azerbaijani courts often award unreasonably high payments to publications in defamation lawsuits, and this decision of the ECtHR should become a precedent, notes Khalid Agaliev, the head of the Media Rights Group.
The “Caucasian Knot” has reported that Ganimat Zakhid, the editor-in-chief of the Azerbaijani opposition newspaper “Azadlyg”, was arrested in 2007 and sentenced to four years of imprisonment on charge of hooliganism. In March, the ECtHR awarded Ganimat Zakhid 8500 euros in compensation for the destruction of the manuscript during the investigation.
After being released from prison in 2010, Ganimat Zakhid left Azerbaijan and obtained political asylum in France, from where he runs the “Turan” TV Channel. The journalist described in his manuscripts the difficult conditions of detention in the Baku SIZO (pre-trial prison).
Khalid Agaliev, the head of the Media Rights Group, noted the importance of recognizing the groundless persecution of the newspaper and its editor for defamation. “These lawsuits are used as a sword of Damocles against the media and encourage self-censorship,” Khalid Agaliev said.
Author: Faik Medjid Source: СK correspondent