Azerbaijani Journalist Gasimov Farahim Ilqar Dismissed

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Year 27 Sep 2016 Country Azerbaijan Category Harassment and intimidation of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , AEJ , Index , RSF Alert level Level 2
27 Sep 2016 Azerbaijan Harassment and intimidation of journalists State EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , AEJ , Index , RSF Level 2
No state reply yet

Azerbaijani journalist Gasimov Farahim Ilqar, working for a private media group, was dismissed from his employment on 12 September 2016 after posting a photo on Facebook showing the success of a rally organized by the National Council of Democratic Forces, an umbrella organisation uniting part of the country’s opposition forces and which had been banned by the government. The demonstrators were protesting in the frame of an upcoming referendum that would give Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev greater powers and a longer term in office. The journalist told the IFJ/EFJ that the day after posting the picture he was fired by Vusala Mahirgizi, head of private media group APA Holding. According to Mahirgizi, the incident had been reported to the Presidential Administration, the executive branch of Aliyev. The journalist said he was fired under pressure from public authorities. Gasimov Farahim Ilqar had worked for APA Holding since 2013.

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20 March 2018

On 20 March 2018, the European Court of Human Rights issued its Grand chamber judgment on Mehmet Altan’s case. The Court found there had been a violation of Article 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security) and a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention for Human Rights. With regards to article 5 §1, according to the Court findings, “Mr Altan’s continued pre-trial detention, after the Constitutional Court’s clear and unambiguous judgment of 11 January 2018 (…), could not be regarded as ‘lawful’ ”. The Court held that “for another court to call into question the powers conferred on a constitutional court to give final and binding judgments on individual applications ran counter to the fundamental principles of the rule of law and legal certainty, which (…) were the cornerstones of the guarantees against arbitrariness”. Under Article 10, the Court held in particular that “there was no reason to reach a different conclusion from that of the Constitutional Court, which had found that Mr Altan’s initial and continued pre-trial detention, following his expression of his opinions, constituted a severe measure that could not be regarded as a necessary and proportionate interference in a democratic society”. The Court pointed out in particular that “criticism of governments and publication of information regarded by a country’s leaders as endangering national interests should not attract criminal charges for particularly serious offences such as belonging to or assisting a terrorist organisation, attempting to overthrow the government or the constitutional order or disseminating terrorist propaganda”.

20 March 2018

On 20 March 2018, the European Court of Human Rights issued its Grand chamber judgment on Şahin Alpay’s case. The Court found there had been a violation of Article 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security) and a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention for Human Rights. With regards to article 5 §1, according to the Court findings, “Mr Alpay’s continued pre-trial detention, after the Constitutional Court’s clear and unambiguous judgment of 11 January 2018 (…), could not be regarded as ‘lawful’ ”. The Court held that “for another court to call into question the powers conferred on a constitutional court to give final and binding judgments on individual applications ran counter to the fundamental principles of the rule of law and legal certainty, which (…) were the cornerstones of the guarantees against arbitrariness”. Under Article 46 (binding force and execution of judgments) of the Convention, the Court held that it was incumbent on the respondent State to ensure the termination of Mr Alpay’s pre-tria detention at the earliest possible date. Under Article 10, the Court held in particular that “there was no reason to reach a different conclusion from that of the Constitutional Court, which had found that Mr Alpay’s initial and continued pre-trial detention, following his expression of his opinions, constituted a severe measure that could not be regarded as a necessary and proportionate interference in a democratic society”. The Court pointed out in particular that “criticism of governments and publication of information regarded by a country’s leaders as endangering national interests should not attract criminal charges for particularly serious offences such as belonging to or assisting a terrorist organisation, attempting to overthrow the government or the constitutional order or disseminating terrorist propaganda”.
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