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Lawsuit filed in assaulted journalist's case

(IRFS/IFEX) - On 24 July 2008, IRFS Chairman Emin Huseynov filed a lawsuit against the Ministry of Interior, the Nasimi District Police Department and the police department's Unit #22. The lawsuit was prepared by Rashid Hajili, from the Media Rights Institute, Khalid Agaliyev and Elchin Sadigov and was submitted to the Nasimi District Court.

The complaint outlines that on 14 June Huseynov was subjected to harassment by the police after an event organised in "Alaturka" restaurant to mark the 80th birthday of Cuban revolutionist Che Guvera was dispersed. Police treated Huseynov, who wanted to cover the event, unfairly. He was taken to Police Department #22, where he was subjected to physical and psychological pressure. Huseynov lost consciousness and had to be hospitalised for more than 20 days. He is still continuing to receive treatment as an outpatient.

Even though more than one month has passed since the incident, no legal steps have been taken to investigate this incident, nor have charges been brought against those who beat Huseynov. There has been no information on the investigation and the IRFS chairman has not been informed about the results of a forensic examination.

According to IRFS, the following articles were violated in the Huseynov case: Article 49 (freedom of assembly); 47 (freedom of thought and speech); 46 (defense of honor and dignity); 28 (right to freedom) under Azerbaijan's Constitution, as well as the thesis of article 71 (security of human and citizen rights and freedom); Articles 7 and 9 of the Law on "Freedom of Assembly"; Article 3 (prohibition of torture); 5 (Freedom and inviolability); 10 (expression freedom); and Article 11 (freedom of assembly and unity) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Huseynov has asked the court to issue a decision deeming illegal the actions of dispersing the peaceful event at "Alaturka" Restaurant, and the actions of beating him and then taking him forcefully to the police unit. He is also seeking 50,000 AZN (approx. US$62,000) for moral damages and suffering from each of the defendants, or 150,000 AZN in total.

Updates the Huseynov case:

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