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Baku appeal court refuses to release sick journalist from prison

(RSF/IFEX) - On 20 July 2009, an appeal court in the capital Baku turned down a plea for the release of journalist Mushfig Huseynov on medical grounds, upholding the 27 May decision of a court in Azizbekov. The journalist, who was sentenced to six years imprisonment for allegedly accepting a bribe, must now remain behind bars and will be banned from practicing his profession for two years following his release.

"We are outraged by the decision of the Baku appeal court, which, like the court in Azizbekov, breaches the Azeri criminal code, which provides for the release of a prisoner on medical grounds," the worldwide press freedom organisation said.

"Huseynov's poor state of health, after spending 18 months in prison, makes his release more justified than ever," it added.

The journalist's lawyer, Isakhan Ashurov, told Reporters Without Borders, "The Baku appeal court's decision is unfounded. The court failed to take into account the fact that Huseynov has tuberculosis and is extremely ill."

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