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Still no justice in case of murdered journalist Elmar Huseynov

(IPI/IFEX) - The following is a 16 July 2008 IPI press release:

IPI Calls for Justice in the Case of Murdered Azeri Journalist

Vienna, 16 July 2008 - The International Press Institute (IPI), the global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in over 120 countries, expresses support for the Azerbaijan-based Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety's (IRFS) appeal for justice in the case of murdered journalist Elmar Huseynov.

"The murder of Huseynov must not be forgotten. IPI adds its voice to the IRFS appeal for justice, and calls on the Azeri authorities to carry out a full and transparent investigation into this brutal crime," said IPI Director David Dadge.

According to information before IPI, Huseynov, founder and editor of the critical Russian-language weekly news magazine Monitor, was shot dead on the evening of 2 March 2005 in the stairwell of his apartment building. Huseynov had been under pressure from Azeri authorities for several years prior to his murder, and was facing numerous libel and defamation lawsuits. He and his family had also received anonymous threats. Friends and colleagues remain convinced that his murder was linked to his profession.

More than three years have elapsed since Huseynov's murder and the perpetrators have still not been brought to justice. The 2006 confession of an imprisoned former Azeri Interior Ministry official, who claimed to have abetted the killing, has been called into question by observers in Azeri civil society. Although Azeri authorities claimed soon after the murder to have identified two Georgian citizens as suspects, they failed to provide sufficient evidence to have the men extradited from Georgia to face charges. No progress has since been made.

IRFS' appeal is timed to coincide with the birthday of Huseynov, who would have turned 41 years of age on 17 July. They will be honouring the day by visiting his grave with other local non-governmental organisations and prominent members of civil society. For further information please visit the IRFS website at http://www.irfs.az

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