Fatullayev isolation prolonged in Azerbaijan

New York, March 1, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists issued the following statement today in response to Azerbaijani press reports that the isolated detention of imprisoned editor Eynulla Fatullayev, a 2009 recipient of CPJ’s International Press Freedom Award, on a new trumped-up charge of drug possession, has been prolonged by two months.

“We are deeply dismayed by the continued imprisonment of our colleague Eynulla Fatullayev whose only crime is his courageous journalism,” said CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova. “It is a great loss to the Azerbaijani public that it has been deprived of Fatullayev’s work, a loss felt especially today on the fifth anniversary of the unsolved murder of his former editor Elmar Huseynov. In that time, the official investigation into Huseynov’s assassination has gone nowhere and Fatullayev, the journalist who dedicated his work to solving this crime, continues to languish in jail. We call on Azerbaijani’s government to release him immediately.”