9 January 1998


Editor arrested

Incident details

Salavan Mamedov



(CPJ/IFEX) - On 8 January 1998, CPJ expressed concern at the 22 December
1997 arrest of Salavan Mamedov, editor of the weekly newspaper
"Istintag". According to CPJ's colleagues from Yeni Nesil, the
independent association of journalists in Azerbaijan, Mamedov was charged
with criminal libel under Article 121 of the Azeri Penal Code for
allegedly making "false and dishonouring comments" against Nazim Tagiev,
the former prosecutor of the Lenkoran district in Baku. In a number of
articles, Mamedov claimed that Tagiev had cooperated with Alikram
Gumbatov, who was convicted of treason and attempting to stage an
uprising. According to Yeni Nesil, Mamedov, as of 8 January, remained in
police custody, while court hearings had not yet been scheduled.

Recommended Action

Send appeals to President Aliev:

  • urging him to secure the immediate release of Salavan Mamedov, who was
    exercising his internationally recognized right to practice his
  • expressing alarm at his arrest on criminal libel charges because there
    are civil remedies available for libel
  • stating that no journalist should be jailed or harassed for scrutinizing
    public officials, and pointing out that the European Court of Human
    Rights rulings on such cases bears this out
  • calling on him to urge that the charges against Mamedov be dropped and
    to consider advocating the repeal of all criminal libel statutes in
    Azerbaijan's penal code
  • stating that these statutes violate international norms of press
    freedom, as well as Azerbaijan's international obligations to respect
    freedom of expression

    Appeals To

    His Excellency Heidar Aliyev
    President of Azerbaijan
    Baku, Azerbaijan
    Fax: +8922 92 17 63

    Please copy appeals to the source if possible.

  • Source

    Committee to Protect Journalists
    330 7th Ave., 11th Floor
    New York, NY 10001
    info (@) cpj.org
    Fax:+1 212 4659568

    Editor Savalan Mamedov released 6 February 1998 Editor arrested 9 January 1998
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