26 Apr 2018 Lvl. 1
Alert created on: 09 Mar 2018 n° 21/2018 Ukraine

Azerbaijani Journalist With Dutch citizenship Fears for His Life after Attack In Kyiv

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner Article 19 AEJ CPJ EFJ/IFJ Index RSF
Partner Article 19 AEJ CPJ EFJ/IFJ Index RSF
Fikret Huseynli, an exiled Azerbaijani journalist who also holds Dutch citizenship, fears for his life and extradition to Azerbaijan without a court order, after escaping an attack in Kyiv by a group of individuals who tried to detain him at his home.

According to Mr Huseynli, on 5 March 2018, a group of “Ukrainian civilians accompanied by people speaking Azeri” attacked him in his appartment, knocking him on the ground and breaking his dental bridge. With the help of the landlord and an acquaintance, who threatened to call the police, Mr Huseynli managed to escape and is now in hiding in Kyiv.

Mr Huseynli who then worked for the Azadliq opposition newspaper was badly beaten in 2006 by ‘unknown assailants’ and fled Azerbaijan in 2008 for the Netherlands where he was granted Dutch citizenship two years ago. The Dutch embassy has been informed of the present attempt to detain him in Kyiv. On 7 October 2017, Mr Huseynli came to Ukraine on business for Turan TV, where he is currently employed. On 17 October 2017, while travelling to Dusseldorf, he was stopped at the Kyiv Boryspil airport, on the basis of an Interpol Red notice issued by the authorities of Azerbaijan who are seeking to put Mr Huseynli on trial on charges for ‘illegally crossing a border’ and ‘fraud’.

The officials of Azerbaijan were reportedly present at the airport when he was being detained. On 27 October 2017, a Ukrainian Court freed Mr Huseynli on bail and requested the Prosecutor’s Office to examine the grounds for extradition. On 13 February 2018 a Ukrainian court threw out an appeal by the Ukrainian state prosecutor against his release on bail and rejected the extradition charge against Mr Huseynli. His passport has been confiscated by the prosecutor and the journalist is obliged to stay in Ukraine until the prosecution completes its examination of the Azerbaijani request to extradite him. The court has given the Prosecutor’s office till March 20 to end the investigation.
26 Apr 2018: On 26 April 2018, the partner organisations to the Platform declared this case to be ”resolved”, concluding it was no longer an active threat to media freedom, following the return of Fikret Huseynli to the Netherlands on 17 April 2018 and the decision of a Kyiv Court not to extend restrictions on is movement.
18 Apr 2018
On 17 April 2018, Fikret Huseynli traveled out of Ukraine for the Netherlands.
18 Apr 2018
OSCE Media Freedom Representative relieved that exiled Azeri journo Fikret Huseynli is back in Netherlands.
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