We issued the following statement today after the Azerbaijani independent agency Turan reported on the testimony of two inmates who allegedly saw imprisoned editor Eynulla Fatullayev take drugs. Fatullayev was charged with drug usage shortly before the European Court of Human Rights acquitted him of all earlier trumped-up charges and ordered his immediate release.
“We call on Azerbaijan to cease this farce of a new trial against Eynulla Fatullayev, stop defying the binding decision of the European Court of Human Rights, and release the editor at once,” said CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova. “It is obvious to the world that this trial is nothing but a poorly staged act, engineered to keep the journalist behind bars despite the European Court’s decision. Each additional day Fatullayev is kept in custody erodes further and further Baku’s already tarnished reputation as an international partner.”