TWO AZERBAIJANI JOURNALISTS FALSELY ACCUSED OF CRIMINAL CHARGESPublished: Nov 27, 2023 Reading time: 2 minutes
Two employees of AbzasMedia, namely the editor-in-chief Sevinj Vagifgizi and company CEO Ulvi Hasanli, have been arrested.
In accordance with Article 206.3.3 of the Azerbaijani penal code, the criminal charges of “smuggling by a group of persons by prior conspiracy” were pressed against both journalists. As a result, they were sentenced to 4 months of preliminary arrest by the court’s decision. Such charges are clearly but an excuse for placing the two known journalists behind bars, thus preventing them from doing their jobs.
On top the two arrests, another Abzas Media employee and disability rights activist Mahammad Kekalov was detained. Although no charges have been pressed against him yet, his family confirms he remains in custody.
Azerbaijan ranks among the countries where the freedom speech is heavily limited, the country´s journalists are often harassed and persecuted. According to the the Press Freedom Index, Azerbaijan is at the 167th place out of over 180 countries.
Centre for Human Rights - People in Need calls for an immediate release of Sevinj Vagifgizi, Ulvi Hasanli and Mahammad Kekalov as well as of all falsely accused or sentenced journalists and activists.