Responding to a new prison sentence against the Azerbaijani journalist Eynulla Fatullayev, Markus Löning, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement today (8 July):
“I was deeply concerned to hear of the new prison sentence against the Azerbaijani journalist Eynulla Fatullayev. Despite international appeals, the Azerbaijani Government has so far failed to comply with the European Court of Human Rights ruling on 28 April 2010 ordering his immediate release along with financial compensation.
I call on the Government of Azerbaijan to fulfil its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights and to implement the decision of the Court with immediate effect.”
Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle had already expressed his deep concern regarding the failure to implement the ECHR’s ruling in the case of Fatullayev during a meeting with the Azerbaijani Foreign Minister last week in Berlin.
Eynulla Fatullayev was imprisoned because of his “terrorism threat” in October 2007 following his newspaper articles. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that Fatullayev’s rights to freedom of expression (Article 10 ECHR) and to a fair trial (Article 6 ECHR) had been violated and called for his immediate release with financial compensation. Azerbaijan has ratified the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and is thus bound by the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights.