01 Mar 2017 Lvl. 1
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Alert created on: 08 Dec 2016 Azerbaijan

Azerbaijani Journalist Ikram Rahimov Sentenced to One Year in Jail on Libel Charges

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner Article 19 CPJ EFJ/IFJ Index RSF
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Partner Article 19 CPJ EFJ/IFJ Index RSF
On 25 November 2016, Sumgayit City Court sentenced Ikram Rahimov, Editor-in-Chief of online news website realliq.info, along with another individual, Rahman Novruzov, to one year in jail. Both men were convicted under Article 147.2 (libel that involves accusing someone of a serious or especially serious crime) of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan.The conviction followed a criminal investigation into libel, launched against both persons after Rahimov published an online article about bribery and tax evasion by local authorities, based on information provided by Novruzov.

After being convicted, Rahimov was transferred to the Sumqayit Police Department, where he was held incommunicado and allegedly subjected to torture for three days. According to Rahimov’s lawyer, the police demanded that Rahimov apologise on camera to one of the individuals mentioned in the article for which he was convicted. After Rahimov refused to do so, they allegedly tortured him and subjected him to cruel and degrading treatment, resulting in Rahimov incurring a head injury. Rahimov was then transferred to a Detention Facility, where his lawyer met with him on 30 November 2016.

Rahimov’s lawyer plans to appeal to the Prosecutor General’s Office regarding the torture allegations.
Updates
01 Mar 2017
On 1 March 2017 both Ikram Rahimov and Rahman Novruzov were released during the appeal hearing.
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