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Imprisoned editor starts hunger strike to protest jailing of journalists

(IRFS/IFEX) - On 26 March 2008, Eynulla Fatullayev, imprisoned editor-in-chief of the "Realny Azerbayjan" and "Gundalik Azerbayjan" newspapers, began a hunger strike.

IRFS was informed of this development by Fatullayev's father, Emin Fatullayev, who visited his son in prison on 25 March, at which time his son told him of his intentions.

"Eynulla told me that on 26 March he would appeal to the prison's leadership in written form, informing them about the hunger strike. He is demanding that all journalists and political prisoners be released, and that the Council of Europe and the OSCE present a proposal to Azerbaijan to resolve the issue of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience."

IRFS also spoke to Fatullayev's lawyer, Isakhan Ashurov, who confirmed that Fatullayev had begun his hunger strike. Ashurov will visit the imprisoned journalist on 27 March.

Mehman Sadigov, chief of the Public Relations Department of the Justice Ministry's Penitentiary Service, told IRFS that, since 26 March is an official holiday in Azerbaijan, he was unable to get in touch with the prison authorities and has no precise information about Fatullayev's situation.

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