European Federation of Journalists

Human Right Court grants victory to Azerbaijani journalist

The European Court of Human Rights ruled in favour of Azerbaijani journalist Uzeyir Eldar oglu Jafarov who was subject to extreme violence and the authority failed to bring justice to his case.

Jafarov was critical about the Azerbaijani government’s security, the defense policies and the activities of various senior military officers. On 20 April 2007, he wrote an article on an military officer, accusing him of corruption.

His chief editor tried for defamation. Following the trial, two men punched him when he left the office. Jafarov stayed in hospital for seven days following the attack. He suffered from a cranial injury and contusions on his upper lip.

Mr Jafarov told the police that he recognised one of his assailants who were present at the court hearing of his chief editor. It appears that this aggressor was a policeman who had been standing outside the newspaper during the day of the aggression.

On May 2007 the Minister of Internal Affairs stated that this incident was an act of sabotage organised by Uzeyir Jafarov himself. In June, the investigator assessed that it was impossible to determine who was responsible for the attack. The journalist made an appeal against this decision, complaining that the authorities had failed to carry out the investigation. His appeal was rejected on January 2008 and made a complaint to the ECHR.

The ECHR held that the investigation violated Article 3 which states that “No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

The ECHR stated that Jafarov must receive 10.000€ as compensation and the Republic of Azerbaijan shall pay for the court’s fee.

Read the full decision of the ECHR HERE

(Photo Credit: Frederick Florin / AFP)