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Radio Liberty journalist released

(IRFS/IFEX) - Ilgar Nasibov, the Nakhchivan Radio Liberty correspondent who was on 6 December 2007 sentenced to three months of imprisonment, has been released. Nasibov himself told the Institute for Reporter Freedom and Safety that the three-month prison sentence handed down to him on the basis of Nakhchivan City Police Department Chief Sabuhi Novruzov's legal action has been annulled, as Novruzov withdrew his lawsuit.

In addition to this, on 10 December, the Nakhchivan city first instance court handed down a one year suspended sentence to Nasibov on the basis of a lawsuit put forth by Nakhchivan State University Director, parliamentarian Isa Habibbeyli, and employees Emin Ujar and Niami Aloyev of the same university.

Habibbeyli's lawsuit stems from an article entitled "PKK's (Kurdistan Workers Party) hands extend into Nakhchivan," published in "Azadlig newspaper in May 2006, which the parliamentarian and his colleagues accuse Nasibov of writing. At the same time, Nasibov denies writing the article, emphasizing that he works for Radio Liberty - known locally as "Azadlig Radiosu," not "Azadlig" newspaper. Investigators claim they found notes for this article in Nasibov's computer; however Nasibov says that what the investigation has found is actually a list of criticism against Habibbeyli that the journalist neither published, nor gave to "Azadlig" newspaper. Furthermore, Nasibov said that he typed this list of criticism on an old computer, and the investigation has somehow gotten its hands on this and planted it into the journalist's current computer.

During the10 December court hearing, it was announced that the computer and other items confiscated from the Nasibov household with be returned within 20 days, in accordance with Azerbaijan's legislation.

Nasibov told IRFS that he was not subjected to physical torture while in prison, but was threatened and subjected to extreme psychological pressure.

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