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Often-persecuted editor being followed

(IRFS/IFEX) - According to information received by the Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety (IRFS), the assistant editor-in-chief of "Gundalik Baki" newspaper, Uzeyir Jafarov, is being followed. Habil Valiyev, the editor-in-chief and founder of "Gundalik Baki", told IRFS that Jafarov was followed on the evening of 11 November 2008 on his way home. "As he was going home, Jafarov noticed someone leaning against a car he had parked on the side of the road in front of the editorial office," said Valiyev. "The same person distanced himself from the car when he saw Jafarov. Jafarov, paying no attention to this, got in his car and left for home. The person got into a different car and followed him. This unidentified individual followed Jafarov all the way to his house."

According to Valiyev, a complaint has already been filed with the Yasamal District Police Department regarding this matter. "On 12 November, Police Department Investigator Samir Mammadov came to our editorial office. He took a statement from Uzeyir Jafarov. I believe these are underhanded actions by the head of the Defense Ministry's Apartment Exploitation Department, Mehman Hajaliyev, and the Defense Ministry's Beylagan Military Unit Commander, Mahmud Hamzayev. They understand that this is the only one way they can defeat us."

A lawsuit was filed against "Gundalik Baki" newspaper by a Defense Ministry Apartment Exploitation Department soldier, Fardi Murselov. The lawsuit stemmed from an article published in the newspaper, titled "Mehman Hajiyev's Illegal Actions". The newspaper was ultimately fined 200 AZN (approx. US$247).

General Hamzayev also filed a lawsuit under article 147.2 of the Criminal Code against "Gundalik Baki" newspaper founder and editor-in-chief Valiyev, assistant editor-in-chief Jafarov and against two reserve officers who appealed to the newspaper. The court rejected the case.

For further information on the lawsuit filed by Murselov, see: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/92978

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