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Journalist's request for release from prison rejected

(IRFS/IFEX) - On 29 December 2008, in Prison #10, under the chairmanship of Narimanov District Judge Elshana Valiyeva, a hearing was held to consider the possibility of an early release for "Azadlig" newspaper satirist and journalist Sakit Zahidov. Zahidov's defence lawyer Isakhan Ashurov told the Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety that the hearing took place in the service room of the "Hearings on the case were biased," said Ashurov. "The judge stated that the lawsuit against Sakit Zahidov was not fulfilled because he does not consider himself guilty of the crime he committed."

Ashurov noted that holding the hearing in the prison is unacceptable and said that he will appeal the decision, and will also appeal to the judiciary to punish the judge.

IRFS employees and OSCE Baku Office representatives were not permitted to monitor the hearing.

On 23 June 2006, Zahidov was arrested on accusations of possessing narcotics. He has six months left in his prison term.

Updates the Sakit Mirza Zahidov (Zakhidov) case: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/97981

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