CPJ Called for Release of Sardar Alibeili
The International Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has called on the Azerbaijani authorities to release from prison the Chief Editor of PS Nota Sardar Alibeili, sentenced to 4 years in prison on trumped-up charges of hooliganism.
"We call on the Azerbaijani authorities to release Sardar Alibeili, who has been repeatedly jailed for his journalistic activities," said Coordinator of CPJ in Europe and Central Asia Nina Ognyanova.
The Khatai court in Baku on November 13 condemned Sardar Alibeili for 4 years. But the journalist denied the charges and is determined to appeal the sentence.
At trial Alibeili said that he was being persecuted for his journalistic activities and, in particular, for the article "July 22 - the last day of freedom and national press." In it, he wrote about sorrowful state of the press and called dignitaries enemies of the press.
Alibeili repeatedly criticized President Ilham Aliyev and his administration in PS Nota, as well as posted on Facebook a picture collage of Aliyev in handcuffs.
CPJ calls attention to the fact that despite the deterioration of freedom of expression in Azerbaijan, Baku is going to take over the chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in 2014. In this regard, the Council of Europe should encourage its members to act to improve the situation with regard to freedom of speech before Azerbaijan takes the prestigious position in the Committee of Ministers," the CPJ statement said. -0 -