Well-known Journalists Appeal to Ilham Aliyev on Mehman Aliyev Case

Baku / 29.08.17 / Turan: A group of prominent representatives of the Azerbaijani journalist community appealed to President Ilham Aliyev with a request to assist in the release of the Director of Turan News Agency, Mehman Aliyev.

The authors note that they have witnessed M. Aliyev's journalistic work for almost 30 years and for this period the Director of Turan made a great contribution to the formation and development of Azerbaijan's new media and the formation of mechanisms for self-regulation of the press.

"Mehman Aliyev is the head of the first independent news agency of Azerbaijan for 27 years. Before that he worked in the leading media of Azerbaijan of that time," the appeal says.

Concerning the criminal case against M. Aliyev conducted by the tax authorities, the authors point out the absence of any obstacles to the conduct of the investigation with Aliyev's release from custody.

The authors of the appeal express their readiness to take Aliyev on bail.

They point out that, despite the economic nature of the charges put forward against Aliyev, in public opinion this is perceived as a harassment of a journalist for his professional activities.

"Mehman Aliyev really consistently criticized the authorities. But his speeches did not go beyond ethical rules and respect for the opposite side. The attitude of the objects of criticism to these speeches should not affect the implementation of fair justice," the statement says.

The authors remind that in the recent history of Azerbaijan, at critical moments with the media and journalists, the heads of state intervened and eliminated tension more than once.

"We really hope that you will take a step that continues this good tradition," the appeal says.

Worried about the fate of M. Aliyev, the authors ask the President of Azerbaijan to instruct the relevant bodies to conduct the investigation without M. Aliyev's arrest.

The appeal was signed by Arif Aliyev, Chairman of the New Generation Journalism Association, Elchin Shikhli, Chairman of the Journalists' Union of Azerbaijan, Gulu Maharramli, Head of the Center for Promoting Journalists and the independent journalist Ibrahim Nabioglu. -06D--

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