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This year was supposed to be different for Azerbaijani journalists. Late in December, President Ilham Aliyev pardoned five journalists who were behind bars. But press offences still count as crimes, four journalists are still wrongfully in jail and the killers of beloved journalist Elmar Huseynov are still free. The Institute for Reporter Freedom and Safety (IRFS) wants you to voice these wrongs on 17 July, Huseynov's birthday, at your Azerbaijani embassy or online with banners on your website.

IRFS has specially prepared placards, slogans and banners for you to take to your embassy that call for Huseynov's murder to be solved, the release of the four journalists, and an end to Aliyev's reign of repression that has persisted ever since Huseynov's death. Those in Azerbaijan will be gathering at Huseynov's grave in Baku on the day.

IRFS is also asking that you snap your action - take a picture and email it to IRFS, who will then post it on its website.

Huseynov, the editor of the opposition weekly magazine "Monitor" that was known for its hard-hitting articles, was gunned down in front of his home on 2 March 2005. One of the currently imprisoned journalists, Eynulla Fatullayev, was targeted shortly after he published a report alleging an official cover-up of Huseynov's murder.

Materials will be available from this Friday, 11 July on IRFS's website at:

To get involved, contact IRFS at: (@)

(Photo of Elmar Huseynov courtesy of IRFS)

(9 July 2008)

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