Eynulla Fatullayev was born in 1976 in Baku. He graduated from Baku Institute of Social Administration and Political Science and MA course in the Academy of Public Administration under the Azerbaijani president.
From 1993 to 1995, he headed the first independent youth organization of Azerbaijan, Organization of Social Democratic Youth of Azerbaijan. From 1997 to 1999, he was advisor of Azerbaijani minister of labor and social protection of population.
In January 1999, he publicly criticized corruption in the higher echelons of power, resigned from his state position and quit the ruling party.
Thereafter he actively engaged in journalistic activities.
In 1999, he worked as a presenter of Nezer Noqtesi program on ANS television channel. In 2000, he was called up for military service in the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan and until July 2001, he commanded the motorized infantry platoon in the frontline area in Agderin region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
After demobilization he returned to journalism and worked for the leading opposition newspaper Milletin Sesi. However, in September 2001, Nizami District Court made a decision to file a criminal case against Fatullayev, so he had to emigrate.
After the act of presidential clemency issued under pressure of the Council of Europe, Fatullayev came back to the republic and together with Elmar Huseynov resumed the work of Monitor magazine in March 2002. Over the past years, before the murder of Monitor chief editor Elmar Huseynov, he was one of the permanent authors of Monitor.
On October 30, 2007, Baku Court on Grave Crimes found guilty chief editor and founder of the Realny Azerbaijan and Gündəlik Azərbaycan Eynulla Fatullayev. The journalist was sentenced to 8.5 years in prison under three articles of the Criminal Code – 214.1 (threat of terrorism), 213.2.2 (tax evasion), 283.2.2 (inciting ethnic hostility).
The journalist's lawyer, Isakhan Ashurov, stated that it was the second time his client was convicted for his articles. Despite the charges of threat of terrorism against foreign embassies, representatives of those offices were not interrogated at the court. Those representatives of foreign companies who were interrogated did not touch upon the topic of terrorism.
According to the attorney, the crime has neither an object nor a subject. The case consists of 19 volumes, out of which 17 are related to tax evasion. Before the arrest, Eynulla Fatullayev had no problems with tax agencies. According to the attorney, the matter concerns illegal punishment of a journalist for expressing his thoughts.
The charges of threat of terrorism and inciting ethnic hostility are related to his article in Realny Azerbaijan where Fatullayev claimed that Baku's support of the American position on Iran makes Azerbaijan vulnerable for an attack by Iran, and considered the likely goals of Iranian strikes.
The international community calls the charge absurd.
Tatyana Chaladze sues Eynulla Fatullayev for libel about Khojaly tragedy
February 2, 2007 [05:49]
Karabakh war veteran, head of the Center for Protection of Refugees and Displaced Persons, renowned journalist Tatyana Chaladze submitted a suit to Yasamal District Court against founder and chief editor of the newspapers Gündəlik Azərbaycan and Realny Azerbaijan Eynulla Fatullayev to protect honor and dignity.
According to Chaladze, the suit is related to Fatullayev's interview about the Khojaly genocide, posted online, "E. Fatullayev noted that the Azerbaijanis themselves had perpetrated the Khojaly genocide and mutilated the corpses.
He quoted allegedly ex-president Ayaz Mutallibov, chairman of Khojaly Executive Committee Elman Mammadov and Khojaly residents.
Mutallibov stated in 2004 that he had never said such a thing about the Khojaly genocide, E. Mammadov and Khojaly residents say they have never met Fatullayev.
By stating so, E. Fatullayev offended the pride of Khojaly residents, Karabakhis and Azerbaijanis, who suffered hardship, and insulted them.
Based on his fabrications, the Armenian press further strengthens the anti-Azerbaijani propaganda and, distorting the truth, misleads the international community. It damages the work to resolve the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan."
Chaladze requested the court to force Fatullayev to present an audio or video recording of the meetings with Khojaly residents, and adopt a resolution on those grounds, for him to publish a disclaimer.
Fatullayev stated that he had expressed his thoughts about the Khojaly tragedy as early as two years before in his book Karabakh Diary.
Fatullayev also noted that he was unaware of Chaladze's suit.
Amnesty International awards imprisoned Azerbaijani journalist
Azerbaijani journalist Eynulla Fatullayev, while imprisoned, received the prestigious award of Amnesty International human rights organization.
During the award ceremony, with the award handed to Fatullayev's father, human rights activists called on the Azerbaijani authorities to release the journalist sentenced to 30 months in prison in 2007 on the charge of libel. Fatullayev and his supporters believe the accusation is politically motivated.
Eynulla Fatullayev founded the newspaper Realny Azerbaijan that became famous for publications criticizing the authorities. The newspaper was closed after the journalist's arrest.
Consideration of Fatullayev's complaint against Azerbaijan is set for April 22.
According to Bakililar.AZ, the European Court of Human Rights will consider the complaint of convicted chief editor and founder of the newspapers Gundelik Azerbaycan and Realny Azerbaijan Eynulla Fatullayev against Azerbaijan.
The complaint is scheduled to be considered on April 22, according to a press release by the European Court of Human Rights.
Eynulla Fatullayev was sentenced to 8.5 years in prison. 0.223 grams of heroin was found on Fatullayev at the end of last year. In this connection, a criminal case was opened under Article 234.1 of the Criminal Code (illegal purchase or storage without a purpose of selling narcotics or psychotropic substances in an amount exceeding necessary for personal consumption) in Garadagh District Police Department.
Fatullayev filed a complaint on the following points: freedom of expression and right of fair trial.
ECHR demands that the Azerbaijani authorities release journalist Fatullayev
Yesterday, April 21, the European Court of Human Rights announced its verdict on the complaint of chief editor of the newspaper Realny Azerbaijan Eynulla Fatullayev, convicted in Azerbaijan, declaring illegal the decisions of Azerbaijani courts that sentenced him to imprisonment. The Azerbaijani authorities intend to impeach the verdict in the Grand Chamber of the Strasbourg Court.
"The court demanded that Fatullayev be released immediately and the Azerbaijani government pay him 25,000 euros in compensation," the journalist's defense lawyer, Isakhan Ashurov, told Caucasian Knot, commenting on the Strasbourg Court decision.
According to Ashurov, the ECHR ruled that the Azerbaijani courts violated Articles 10 and 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights in relation to Fatullayev – on the right of fair trial and freedom of expression. The lawyer intends to submit a proposal to the Supreme Court regarding quick implementation of that decision and release of Fatullayev.
"The investigation into Fatullayev's case was held with harsh legal procedures and the courts ignored his numerous complaints and themselves violated the laws. The Strasbourg Court gave a legal assessment of those facts and acknowledged the violation of the journalist's rights," Ashurov said.
Another defense lawyer of the journalist, Elchin Sadygov, said that if within three months the Azerbaijani government did not submit an appeal to the ECHR Grand Chamber, the plenum of Azerbaijani Supreme Court had to consider the decision of Strasbourg Court and pass it to Baku Court of Appeal for implementation.
According to Sadygov, if by that time a decision is made on the new charge against Fatullayev – illegal storage of drugs – Baku Court of Appeal must unite the two cases and consider them together.
Azerbaijan's plenipotentiary to the European Court of Human Rights Chingiz Askerov, for his part, believes that the Strasbourg Court "exceeded its authority" by adopting a decision on "immediate release" of Fatullayev.
"On the whole, according to the practice of European countries, the European Court's decisions are perceived by domestic courts as interpretation of Convention norms.
In a word, the situation when the European Court gives concrete instructions to the courts of one or another state regarding adoption of certain decisions is groundless and unacceptable," Askerov is quoted as saying by Trend.
To remind, the European Court decision comes into effect if within three months after its announcement an application to pass the case to the Grand Chamber is not received. Askerov announced the Azerbaijani government's intention to submit such an application.
Muzaffar Aghazade, member of panel of judges on criminal cases of Azerbaijani Supreme Court, also considers that the Strasbourg Court had no right to make a decision to release Fatullayev. "According to Azerbaijani law, criminal cases are, in essence, considered by national courts. The European Court merely makes a decision on violation of one or another right," he said.
According to him, a decision regarding Fatullayev's release must be made in Azerbaijan. But the Supreme Court may consider the issue if within three months the Azerbaijani government does not submit an appeal to the Grand Chamber of Strasbourg Court.
To remind, Baku City Yasamal District Court sentenced Fatullayev to 2.5 years in prison on the charge of libel about the Khojaly tragedy on April 20, 2007. Subsequently, a new criminal case was opened against Fatullayev under three articles of the Criminal Code – 214.1 (threat of terrorism), 283.2.2 (inciting ethnic hostility),
213.2.2 (tax evasion). On October 30, 2007, Fatullayev was found guilty under these articles and sentenced to 8.5 years in prison by the Court on Grave Crimes.
According to Caucasian Knot, a new criminal case was opened against journalist Fatullayev on December 31, 2009 under Article 234.1 (illegal possession of drugs without the purpose of sale). Chemical and biological examination detected heroin in Fatullayev's blood and urine (diacetylmorphine and amphetamine), the investigation claims. Fatullayev strongly denies the accusation of drug abuse, his defense lawyer Ashurov said that the results of blood and urine test were "questionable."
According to the investigation materials, on December 29, 2009, a checkup was conducted at penal colony #12, where chief editor of Realny Azerbaijan newspaper Eynulla Fatullayev was kept, and drugs were found in Fatullayev's clothes and shoes – a total of 0.22 grams of heroin. He was charged under Article 234.1 of Azerbaijani Criminal Code (illegal possession of drugs) and two months' arrest was chosen as a restraint for him.
Fatullayev stated that the criminal case against him was trumped up and he was a victim of provocation. "All this was undertaken to not to allow my release in light of the forthcoming consideration of my complaint in the European Court of Human Rights," the journalist said. He petitioned to close the criminal case, but the state prosecutor opposed it. The judge also rejected the petition and set the first hearing on the case for April 26.
Earlier, as Caucasian Knot's correspondent said, founder and chief editor of Realny Azerbaijan newspaper Eynulla Fatullayev, imprisoned in Azerbaijan, stated that there was a threat to his life. He wrote this in his letter to the management of Azerbaijani penitentiary service, as well as to the human rights organizations Amnesty International, Reporters Without Borders and Committee to Protect Journalists. Representative of Azerbaijani penitentiary service Mehman Sadykhov, for his part, said that journalist Fatullayev's claims about the possibility of his murder while in imprisonment were groundless.
Azerbaijan displeased with decision of European Court of Human Rights
As long as Azerbaijan is under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights, all its decisions will be mandatory, Muzaffar Aghazade, member of panel of judges on criminal cases of Azerbaijani Supreme Court, told Turan, commenting on the decision of the European Court of Human Rights to immediately release journalist Eynulla Fatullayev.
At the same time, he said that the Strasbourg Court considers cases not essentially, but with regard to violation or non-violation of relevant articles of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Fatullayev's defense lawyer Elchin Sadygov, for his part, believes that the Supreme Court plenum must consider the Strasbourg Court decision within three months and send it to Baku Court of Appeal for implementation. At the same time, Sadygov said that the Strasbourg Court decision could be suspended if the Azerbaijani government submitted an appeal to the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights.
A source in Azerbaijani government said Baku was displeased with the ECHR decision and believed that the demand to immediately release the journalist was "abuse of authority" by the Strasbourg Court. The Azerbaijani authorities intend to appeal the decision. However, according to lawyer Fuad Aghayev, it is useless.
According to him, the Court's decision notes that the demand to immediately release Fatullayev is caused by a "special case" and is an urgent necessity to put an end to violation of the rights of the applicant. Therefore, the court decided that Fatullayev should be released immediately.
In Aghayev's opinion, the Supreme Court plenum must review the cases of Fatullayev, cancel the local courts' decisions and stop the criminal proceedings. "It will not take much time," Aghayev thinks.
In his opinion, the Grand Chamber may not consider the Azerbaijani government's complaint at all, and even if accepts it for consideration, will not uphold it all the same.
To remind, the European Court of Human Rights announced its decision on the appeal of journalist Eynulla Fatullayev convicted in Azerbaijan. The Strasbourg Court declared illegal the decisions of Azerbaijani courts that sentenced the journalist to 8.5 years in prison on the charge of threat of terrorism. "The court demanded that he be released immediately and the Azerbaijani government pay him 25,000 euros in compensation," the ECHR said. The ECHR ruled that the Azerbaijani courts violated Articles 10 and 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
In 2007, chief editor of Realny Azerbaijan Eynulla Fatullayev was arrested and convicted on several charges: insulting the honor and dignity of the Azerbaijani people, threat of terrorism and tax evasion. Overall, he got 8.5 years in prison. The cause of Fatullayev's arrest was his criticism of the government in the newspaper. The international community declared the journalist a political prisoner and constantly demanded his release during the past three years.
A new charge was brought against the journalist in late December 2009 – possession of drugs. Heroin was found in his belongings. A new criminal case was opened against him. However, the journalist himself stated that the drugs were planted on him in order not to allow his release by the decision of the European Court of Human Rights.
Regnum News Agency